We explain the Types And Characteristics Of Aerial Animals and how they are classified. Also, what are its characteristics and some examples.
What Are Aerial (Flying) Animals?
Aerial animals are those that can fly on their own . Some have wings that allow them to move through the air and continue flying for a long time (controlling their direction, speed and height). Others move through the air but with less control over their flight (so they cannot travel very long distances). There are also aerial animals that can glide, despite not having wings, and they do so thanks to the anatomical shape of their bodies.
Within the group of aerial animals are different species that have the ability to fly, but that action is conditioned by the anatomical structure and the need for survival of each species .
For example, some can fly great distances (to migrate and avoid very low temperatures during the winter or to look for food). In other cases, they can barely move for a few moments in the air (to defend themselves against their predators or to hunt their prey), etc.
Examples of aerial animals
Some examples of aerial animals are:
- The hummingbird. Also known as “hummingbird”, it is the smallest bird in the world, within the group of vertebrates . Its wings can move up to eighty times per second and, when the male wants to impress a female, it can flap its wings up to two hundred times per second. It is the only species capable of flying in all directions and even levitate on site.
- Cockatoo It is considered a very intelligent bird and is distinguished by its peculiar plume of yellow feathers. It presents an anatomy similar to that of the parrot, due to the shape of the beak and its legs, but its feathers are white. It lives in Australia, Indonesia, Puerto Rico and New Zealand. Its type of reproduction is monogamous and remains in pairs in the same nest, for more than four years. Also, he likes to fly in a group.
- The Eagle. It is the largest predatory bird that with its powerful claws and strong muscles can catch prey of the same weight and take flight. It can fly up to two hundred kilometers per hour and, thanks to its excellent vision, it can see its prey from two thousand meters away. Females are larger than males, their type of reproduction is monogamous and they stay together for several years.
- The toucan. It is considered an exotic species and stands out for its thick, long and colorful beak, which it uses to defend itself and to feed on tropical fruits, insects, lizards and eggs. It is native to tropical areas of America and is characterized by being sedentary and living all its life in the same area, that is, it is not a migratory bird. I came as a couple (he is monogamous) and in flocks of about six members.
- The flamenco. It is a bird that is distinguished by its long legs and its long, curved neck. It lives in tropical areas, close to salty waters. The color of its plumage varies according to the species, but pink predominates. It feeds on algae, larvae, insects, crustaceans, mollusks and small fish. It is very sociable and communicates with its own species (especially with its young) through nasal sounds.
- The ladybug. It is an insect from the group of arthropods , of the invertebrate type , also known as “Vaquita de San Antonio”. It has a kind of shell that turns out to be, in reality, a pair of thick, brightly colored wings (red, orange, or yellow, with black spots) that cover and protect its functional wings. During the winter, it is usually grouped from ten to fifteen individuals to protect themselves from the cold. It feeds on plants, mites, aphids and mealybugs, among others.
- The flying ant. The ant is a very sociable insect that usually lives in large, organized communities underground. Flying ants are those that develop wings only in their reproductive season (act called “nuptial flight”). It feeds on fruits, plants, rotten meat and mainly on a type of fungus that grows through the leaves it collects.
- The moth. It is an invertebrate insect that has scales covered wings. It belongs to the group of “night butterflies” but it has a smaller build and is less showy than a butterfly. It is characterized by going through a complete metamorphosis, that is, it goes through four stages throughout its life : that of an egg, that of a larva, that of a cocoon and finally that of an adult moth (or butterfly) night). During adulthood, it feeds on the nectar of flowers and lives for a short time, just a few weeks.
- The mobula blanket. It is from the family of mylobatids (cartilaginous fish that are known as stingray or stingray) and stands out for having the largest brain among the fish in its group. It is usually large in size and lives in the open ocean , not just at the bottom of the sea. It feeds on small crustaceans (such as krill) that are filtered with its huge mouth while swimming. It can measure up to twenty-five meters in length and has a mucous membrane that protects your skin, an organ that you can lose if it is touched by humans.
Types of aerial animals
Aerial animals can belong to the following groups:
- Birds. They are animals that are characterized by being bipeds (capable of making small jumps and sometimes walking), vertebrates with a light skeleton (which makes it easier for them to fly), with wings or fins and warm blooded. The vast majority have the ability to fly, except for a few like penguins. They have their body covered in feathers (a defining characteristic of birds) that provide protection against low temperatures , wind, humidity and intense sun.
- Insects They are invertebrate animals (that is, they have an exoskeleton that supports the organism) and usually have antennas that fulfill the function of the main sensory organ through which they experience touch, smell, hearing and sense of orientation. Its wings are made up of light membranes. They feed on vegetables and other smaller insects.
- Mammals . They are warm-blooded vertebrate animals with four limbs. The only mammal capable of flight is the bat, which also has a thin elastic skin membrane between its extremities, which allows it to move through the air. Other mammals, such as squirrels, can jump between trees and glide until they reach another nearby plant, but it is not a controlled movement or that they can keep in the air.
- Fishes. The “flying fish” do not have wings nor do they fly, but glide or glide for an instant thanks to their slim and elongated anatomy (in the form of an aerodynamic torpedo) that allows them to swim at high speed (up to sixty kilometers per hour) and take enough momentum to jump out of the water and move through the air. About forty varieties of flying fish have been discovered.
- Reptiles . Currently there are no reptiles capable of flight. In the time of the dinosaurs (the Mesozoic era), the reptile called “pterosaur” was one of the first vertebrates to acquire the ability to fly. The first pterosaur fossil was found in 1784 and only from 1801 was it recognized as an aerial animal.
Characteristics of aerial animals
Aerial animals are mainly characterized by being able to fly using their wings, through the impulse in the air. These wings are covered with feathers in the case of birds, or are made up of silky membranes in the case of insects. However, some animals have wings and cannot fly.
The type of reproduction in general is oviparous , that is, by means of eggs that are deposited in the external environment (as in the earth, in the heights of the trees or on the banks of the water). Their habitat is not exclusively the air , they also live on land or in water. So they can feed on seeds, fruits, worms and carrion, among others.