Birds are the true masters of the body. However, the possibility of flight imposed a restriction on the size of these feathered creatures. True, flightless birds were able to increase their mass. It is believed that some of the extinct non-flying birds even weighed 300-400 kg.
In this indicator, even pterodactyls that have a mass of 250 kg remain behind. However, in order to lift a heavy body into the air, the wingspan was required up to 15 meters.
Today, both the size and weight of the birds have become more modest. About the largest representatives of this class and will be discussed. This will take into account both the size and weight of the bird.
The Imperial Penguin.
Of the whole family of penguins, this is the largest genus. Males can reach a height of 122 cm and weigh up to 40-45 kg. In addition, the muscular mass of this bird is the largest of all birds, it is achieved by the breast. The bird has black plumage on its back, and on the chest – white. It helps to hide in the water from enemies. For the first time, people learned about such penguins during the Bellingshausen expedition in 1819-1822. Large birds live in ice around Antarctica, but they can also go to the southern mainland itself for mating and incubating offspring. In total, scientists counted 38 colonies of the imperial penguin, the total number of individuals in them is about 300 thousand. This sea bird finds its food in the ocean. In this emperor penguins hunt in groups. Hunting for fish and krill, birds swim at a speed of 3-6 km / h and are able to dive to a depth of 500 meters. Underwater, these penguins can be up to 15 minutes. There are few natural enemies in birds, as a result they can live up to 25 years.
Steller’s sea eagle.
This large bird belongs to the family of hawks. She lives in coastal areas of northeast Asia. The total length of the eagle is 1.1 meters, its wingspan is 2.5 meters. It weighs 7.5-9 kg. Color of bird is dark-brown with impregnations of white color. Steller’s sea eagles eat fish, sometimes small mammals and carrion become prey. The bird builds its nests near the sea, on trees, high from the ground. Mass unorganized tourism jeopardized the breeding grounds of the sea eagle. As a result, the number of species decreased to 7,500 individuals. Today, the Steller’s sea eagle is listed in the Red Book, protected by the state.
Its external species, this bird is somewhat like an ostrich. Only now the bustard can fly, being the heaviest of all flying representatives of its class. The drift can be found in the steppes and semi-deserts of Eurasia. Males have the sizes, comparable to turkeys, the truth, weigh much more. The body weight of males reaches up to 20 kg, with a length of 105-110 cm. The wings are also long and wide, the range is 190-260 cm. This allows the bustard to masterly catch air currents. But the heavy body does not allow instant takeoff, it flies up like a heavy aircraft. The bird usually takes a run against the wind and soars up. Drofa prefers to slowly move on the ground. These birds prefer to stray into small same-sex flocks. Bustards feed on both plants and insects. Among the natural enemies of birds – predatory birds, as well as fox, wolf. Deforestation by the man of forests served as an impetus for increasing the bird population, but soon people began to destroy this species. In total, there are about 50,000 Bustards left in nature, half of which live in Spain.
This bird is a popular favorite, many songs and fairy tales are composed about it. Cranes have a wide range of habitation, they can be found in Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. However, all species of this bird are invariably associated with water and wetlands. This distribution was due to the long heritage of the genus, it is already several million years old. The growth of cranes can reach 180-190 cm, and they weigh 8-9 kg. In this case, the wingspan of a proud bird reaches 2 meters. Cranes are omnivorous, eating both plants and animals.The diet also includes fish, frogs, snakes, insects. Nests of their cranes are usually built in water, ramming reeds or marsh grass. In this case, water patches prevent the penetration of land predators to the eggs. Some species of cranes are quite small, which is due to human activities.
Representatives of this family are among the largest waterfowl. The length of the body of adults can reach 1.8 meters, taking into account a rather large beak. The mass of the curly pelican reaches 14 kg, and the wingspan is 2 meters. Its name was given to the pelican due to the location on the back of the head and crown of curly feathers. This bird flies well, can fly. And in the water the pelican feels great. But they can not dive, because of the special structure of the paws. Pelican digs fish by immersing the head and neck into the water. That’s why the bird prefers to live in shallow water. Pelicans live in constant pairs in a colony of several tens or 4-5 pairs. The nest builds a bird on a floating island or directly in a reed, the female does it, the male brings materials. Today the curly pelican is listed in the Red Book. In Eurasia at the beginning of the 20th century, the number of reservoirs suitable for living the species declined sharply. As a result of curly pelicans in Europe there are no more than a thousand pairs. Hunting is prohibited.
This bird belongs to the family of hawks. The total length of the black neck is about a meter, and the range of its wings is up to 3 meters. A large bird weighs up to 12 kg. The black vulture is a sedentary bird that lives in the foothills of Southern Europe, northern Africa, and Central Asia. The main food for vultures is carrion. Her vultures look out, hovering high in the air. To find a feed vulture can fly long distances, up to 400 km per day. Weak legs do not allow these birds to carry the prey with them, so they are forced to eat as much as possible of the carrion, discovering it. Since the vultures eat soft tissues, they chose areas with a mild climate – frozen meat does not suit them. Birds live till 50 years. They build their nests on trees or rocks, usually not going to the colony. In some peoples vultures are sacred birds that take care of the souls of the dead.
These graceful birds can also reach considerable sizes. Swans can weigh up to 15 kg, and the range of their wings is up to 2.5 meters. The growth of adults reaches 180 cm. In the water the birds look graceful, but on the ground short paws lead to awkward walking. Birds have developed muscles, thanks to which every year thousands of kilometers of flights are carried out. Swans are very beautiful birds, which differ in their devotion. Both the male and female together grow their offspring during the first year or two of life. Swans live in water, it can be lakes, estuaries and even swamps. A bird feeds on small aquatic plants. Swans can not dive, they immerse the head with the neck and the front part of the body. Due to the small number of hunting, not swans are prohibited. With the onset of cold weather, these birds fly south quite late, but return one of the first. In Australia and New Zealand, the species of black swans resides. These birds are slightly smaller, and they do not fly for wintering.
This wandering bird is the largest of all, able to fly. Royal albatrosses have a record wingspan of 3.7 meters. Adult birds reach a weight of 11 kg. Although the size of the body is not so large, the wings of the albatross are huge. The main habitat of these birds is the waters surrounding Antarctica. They nest in remote islands. Albatrosses are wanderers who have occupied scraps of land in the Southern Ocean. Their genus is quite ancient, the earliest representatives lived 12-15 million years ago. These birds have low fertility and a long period of puberty (6-10 years), but they live up to 58 years. This is facilitated by low mortality among adult birds.The main enemy of the albatross is a person polluting nature. Sailors superstitiously believe that the appearance of large white seabirds heralds a future storm.
These large flightless birds are the largest in Australia and New Guinea. The name of the cassowary came from the Papuan word for “horned head”. The fact is that birds have an outgrowth on the forehead, which is now called a helmet. The growth of adult individuals can reach 2 meters, and they weigh up to 50 kg. Although cassowaries can not fly, they can accelerate to 50 km / h and jump to a height of 1.5 meters. Female larger and brighter painted. The legs of the running bird are very strong, three-fingered and have sharp claws. Cassowaries live in tropical forests, leading a hidden lifestyle. The main activity is at night. The main large food of birds are fruits, as well as mushrooms, snails and small insects, animals. There are no natural enemies in cassowaries, but a bird can even attack a person if it is scared. As a result, this bird is the Guinness Book of Records recognized as the most dangerous on the planet. The blows of her sharp claws are very dangerous and may even lead to death. These birds live in nature until 19 years, and in captivity this period is doubled. Cassowaries because of their meat, feathers and even claws for a long time were the subject of hunting and extermination. Today, people began to protect them in Australian national parks.
About which bird is the largest on the planet, everyone knows. The growth of ostriches reaches 2.7 meters, and they weigh 130 kg. Nature has not given the heavy birds the ability to fly – they do not have a keel, and the chest muscles are poorly developed. The wings themselves are underdeveloped. But thanks to powerful paws ostriches can quickly run, accelerating to 70 km / hour. This bird lives in dry, treeless places in Africa and the Middle East. Usually, ostriches gather in small flocks, they often graze together with the herd of zebras or antelopes. The bird is polygamous, and several females live with the male. During the mating season, the father of the family occupies an area of several square kilometers, driving away competitors from it. The main food of large birds is plants, but on occasion they feed on small animals and even carrion. The ostriches do not have teeth, so they have to swallow small stones to grind food. This bird also lays the largest eggs, which also incubates the male. They have a weight of up to 2 kg, and in length – 15-21 cm. Also, the ostrich has the largest eyes in the animal world, which by weight is even larger than the brain. Live the same African ostriches are also quite long, up to 75 years.