The biggest birds

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Birds are the real masters of the body. It is believed that some of the extinct flightless birds even weighed 300-400 kg.

According to this indicator, even pterodactyls, which had a mass of 250 kg, are left behind. True, in order to lift a heavy body into the air, a wingspan of up to 15 meters was also required.

Today, both size and weight of birds have become more modest. This will take into account both the size and weight of the bird.

Emperor penguin. Of the entire penguin family, this is the largest genus. Males can grow up to 122 cm and weigh up to 40-45 kg. In addition, the muscle mass of this bird is the largest of all birds, this is achieved at the expense of the chest. The bird has black plumage on its back, and white on its chest. This 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 the ice around Antarctica, but they can also enter the southern continent itself to mate and hatch offspring. In total, scientists have counted 38 colonies of the emperor penguin, the total number of individuals in them is about 300 thousand. This seabird finds its food in the ocean. At the same time, emperor penguins hunt in groups. When hunting for fish and krill, the birds swim at a speed of 3-6 km / h and can dive to a depth of 500 meters. These penguins can stay under water for up to 15 minutes. Birds have few natural enemies, as a result, they can live up to 25 years.

Steller's sea eagle. This large bird belongs to the hawk family. She lives in the coastal regions of northeast Asia. The total length of the eagle reaches 1.1 meters, its wingspan is 2.5 meters. It usually weighs 7.5-9 kg. The color of the bird is dark brown with splashes of white. Steller's sea eagles feed on fish, sometimes small mammals and carrion become prey. The bird builds its nests near the sea, in trees, high from the ground. Massive unorganized tourism has endangered the eagle's nesting sites. As a result, the number of the species was reduced to 7,500 individuals. Today the Steller's sea eagle is included in the Red Book, protected by the state.

Bustard. By its appearance, this bird is somewhat reminiscent of an ostrich. Only the bustard can fly, being the heaviest of all flying representatives of its class. Great bustard can be found in the steppes and semi-deserts of Eurasia. Males are comparable in size to turkeys, although they 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 span is 190-260 cm. This allows the bustard to masterfully catch air currents. But a heavy body does not allow to take off instantly, it takes off like a heavy plane. The bird usually takes off against the wind and soars up. The bustard prefers to move slowly on the ground. These birds prefer to huddle in small, same-sex flocks. Bustards feed on both plants and insects. Among the natural enemies of birds are birds of prey, as well as a fox, a wolf. The deforestation of forests by man served as an impetus for an increase in the bird population, but soon people, with their own activities, began to destroy this species. In total, there are currently about 50 thousand bustards left in nature, half of which live in Spain.

Crane. This bird is a popular favorite, many songs and tales have been composed about it. Cranes have an extensive range of residence, they can be found in Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. Moreover, all species of this bird are invariably associated with water and wetlands. This spread was due to the long-standing origin 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. At the same time, the wingspan of a proud bird reaches 2 meters. Cranes are omnivorous, feeding on both plants and animals. The diet also includes fish, frogs, snakes, insects. Cranes usually build their nests in water, tamping reeds or marsh grass. At the same time, areas of water prevent land predators from penetrating the eggs. Some species of cranes are quite small in number, which is also due to human activities.

Curly Pelican. Representatives of this family are among the largest waterfowl. The body length of adults can reach 1.8 meters, taking into account a rather large beak. The mass of the Dalmatian Pelican reaches 14 kg, and the wingspan is 2 meters. The pelican got its name due to the location of curly feathers on the back of the head and crown. This bird flies well, knows how to soar. And the pelican feels great in the water. But they cannot dive, because of the special structure of the paws. The pelican hunts fish by immersing its head and neck in water. That is why the bird prefers to live in shallow water. Pelicans live in permanent pairs in a colony of several dozen or 4-5 pairs. The bird builds its nests on a floating island or right in the reeds, the female does this, 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 the habitation of the species sharply decreased. As a result, no more than a thousand pairs of curly pelicans remained in Europe. Hunting him is prohibited.

Black neck. This bird belongs to the hawk family. The total length of the black bar is about a meter, and its wingspan 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, soaring high in the air. To find food for themselves, vultures can fly long distances, up to 400 km per day. Weak legs do not allow these birds to carry their prey with them, so they are forced to eat as much carrion as possible upon finding it. Since vultures eat soft tissues, they chose areas with a mild climate - frozen meat is not suitable for them. Birds live up to 50 years. They build their nests on trees or rocks, usually not gathering in a colony. For some peoples, vultures are sacred birds that take care of the souls of the dead.

Swan. These graceful birds can also reach considerable sizes. Swans can weigh up to 15 kg and have a wingspan of up to 2.5 meters. The growth of adults reaches 180 cm. In water, birds look graceful, but on land, short legs lead to clumsy walking. Birds have developed muscles, thanks to which flights of thousands of kilometers are carried out every year. Swans are very beautiful birds that are distinguished by their devotion. Both male and female raise offspring together during the first year or two of life. Swans live in water bodies, these can be lakes, estuaries, and even swamps. And the bird feeds on small aquatic plants. Swans cannot dive, they submerge their head and neck and the front of the body in water. Due to the small number of non-swans, hunting is prohibited. With the onset of cold weather, these birds fly south rather late, but they are one of the first to return. The species of black swans live in Australia and New Zealand. These birds are slightly smaller, and they do not fly for wintering.

Albatross. This wandering bird is the largest of all that can fly. Royal albatrosses have a record-breaking wingspan of 3.7 meters. Adult birds reach a weight of 11 kg. Although the body size is not that great, the albatross's wings are huge. The main habitat of these birds is the waters surrounding Antarctica. They nest on 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. Low mortality among adult birds also contributes to this. The main enemy of the albatross is a person who pollutes nature. Sailors superstitiously believe that the appearance of large white seabirds heralds a coming storm.

Cassowary. These large flightless birds are the largest in Australia and New Guinea. The name of the cassowary comes from the Papuan word for "horned head". The fact is that birds have an outgrowth on the forehead, which is currently called a helmet. The growth of adults can reach 2 meters, and they weigh up to 50 kg. Although cassowaries cannot fly, they can accelerate to 50 km / h and jump up to 1.5 meters in height. Females are larger and brighter in color. The legs of a running bird are very strong, three-toed and have sharp claws. Cassowaries live in tropical forests, leading a hidden lifestyle. The main activity is in the dark. The main large food for birds is fruit, it can also be mushrooms, snails and small insects, animals. Cassowaries have no natural enemies, and a bird can even attack a person if it is scared. As a result, this bird was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the most dangerous on the planet. The blows of her sharp claws are very dangerous and can even lead to death. These birds live in nature up to 19 years, and in captivity this period is doubled. For their meat, feathers and even claws, cassowaries have long been the subject of hunting and extermination. Today, humans have begun to protect them in Australian national parks.

Ostrich. Everyone knows which bird is the largest on the planet. The growth of ostriches reaches 2.7 meters, and they weigh 130 kg. Nature has not given heavy birds the ability to fly - they have no keel, and the pectoral muscles are poorly developed. The wings themselves are underdeveloped. But thanks to powerful paws, ostriches can run fast, accelerating to 70 km / h. This bird lives in dry, treeless places in Africa and the Middle East. Usually ostriches gather in small flocks, often they graze together with herds of zebras or antelopes. The bird is polygamous; 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 also feed on small animals and even carrion. Ostriches have no teeth, so they have to swallow small stones to grind food. This bird also lays the largest eggs, which are also incubated by the male. They weigh up to 2 kg, and are 15-21 cm long. The ostrich also has the largest eyes in the animal world, which are even larger in weight than the brain. African ostriches also live for quite a long time, up to 75 years.

Watch the video: Top 5 LARGEST Birds in History

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