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Are birds reptiles?

Today I heard the weirdest story of all, that birds are reptiles!

Aren't reptiles cold-blooded and birds warm-blooded? Birds are certainly more mammals than reptiles surely?

What group of animals do birds belong to?
Posted in Zoology, asked by Philo, 6 years ago. 975 hits.


Are birds reptiles?

A beautiful parrot from the Koala sanctuary in QLD, Australia.

Your question is not so bizarre and perhaps there is some truth to what you heard about birds and reptiles.

Currently birds are listed under a class of animals called “Aves”. Yes, reptiles are cold-blooded and birds warm-blooded but their evolutionary relation is interesting.

Groups of animals are usually classed together based on adaptive similarities in their physical makeup and other aspects.

Some say that Animals should be classed according to their evolutionary ancestry instead.

To answer the question straight up, no birds are not “reptiles” and retiles are not exactly the same animals as Aves (birds). However, many propose that birds and reptiles should be regrouped together under a new family of animals.

The reason for this is that birds and reptiles are related closer to each other than we think. For example, crocodiles are related closer to birds than they are to other reptiles, but yet crocodiles still fall under the same class as reptiles.

How does that work you might ask? Well, this is the same question other scientists are asking and is just one example for the reason behind the push for a cladistics approach. Some also suggest that crocodiles be removed from the reptile family and regrouped with birds under a new class of animals.

Apart from that there are also some reptilian similarities in birds. For example, they have scales and excrete waste in similar ways as reptiles do.

While birds aren’t exactly reptiles, it still raises the question of the relation between birds and reptiles.
Good question!

6 years ago
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