Some examples of animals found in the class Aves are ducks, hummingbirds, songbirds, woodpeckers, owls and raptors. The class of Aves is composed of birds. It was first developed in 1676 by John Ray and Francis Willughby, but the current system was devised by Carolus Linnaeus in 1758.
Aves is a class in the subphylum Vertebrata, phylum Chordata and the kingdom Animalia. Organisms in this class all share the same characteristics:
- Skin covered in feathers
- Lay hard-shelled, waterproof eggs
- No teeth, but rather a bill or a beak
- Only walk on two legs
- Most members of this class can fly
There are 29 orders, or sub-groups, of this class, which includes more than 10,000 known species. Some of the more common examples include:
- Anseriformes - ducks, swans and geese
- Falconiformes - falcons, eagles and hawks
- Galliforomes - fowl such as chickens, turkeys and pheasant
- Struthioniformes - flightless birds including emus, ostriches and kiwis
- Passeriformes - perching birds and songbirds such as sparrows, larks, crows and swallows
The smallest bird is the hummingbird, averaging only 2.25 inches in length. The largest bird is the ostrich, at approximately 9 feet high. The wandering albatross has the largest wingspan, measuring at a maximum of 12 feet. The most common domestic bird is the chicken, while the most common wild bird is thought to be the European house sparrow.