Understanding Key Concepts

5. List the seven defining characteristics of birds.

6. Identify characteristics that Archaeopteryx shared with its dinosaur ancestors.

7. Summarize the evidence indicating that Archaeopteryx could fly.

8. Compare two possible explanations for the evolution of flight.

9. Contrast the function of down feathers with that of contour feathers.

10. Explain how a bird's skeleton maximizes strength for flight while minimizing weight.

11. Describe the functions of two of the organs in a bird's digestive system.

12. Name the structure that grinds food, aided by stones that a bird swallows.

13. Describe the role that air sacs play in increasing respiratory efficiency in birds.

14. Summarize the differences between newly hatched ducks and newly hatched pigeons.

15. List several cues that birds might use to guide their movements when migrating long distances.

16. Explain the relationship between beak and feet shapes and the lifestyles of raptors, seed-eating birds, and flightless birds.

17. Identify the order to which each of the following birds belongs: ducks, owls, hummingbirds, parrots.

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