reptile ave

Blue Coua (Coua caerulea)

…a charismatic species of cuckoo (Cuculidae) which is endemic to the island of Madagascar, where it occurs on the north-western and eastern parts of the island. Blue couas typically inhabit subtopical or tropical dry/lowland forests as well as tropical mangrove and montane forests. Like other cuckoo species, blue coua feed mainly on insects but are known to take fruits and small reptiles. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Cuculiformes-Cuculidae-Coua-C. caerulea 

Image: Olaf Oliviero Riemer

White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica)

Also known as the Pacific heron, the white-necked heron is a species of heron (Ardeidae) which is native to New Guinea and Australia. Like other heron species white-necked herons typically inhabit wet areas like freshwater wetlands, and wet grasslands, where they will feed on fish, frogs, insects, and occasionally reptiles. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Pelecaniformes-Ardeidae-Ardea-A. pacifica

Image: Wayne Butterworth

Okay, time for something I ACTUALLY don’t understand about birds. 

We all know that birds are the legacy of “theropod” dinosaurs; those would be dinosaurs like velociraptors and other “raptor” dinos, and even the giants like T-rex and allosaurus. 

But… birds… aren’t… reptiles???

Birds belong to their very own class of animals, called “aves.” And reptiles belong to the “reptilia” class. 

BUT!!!!!!

Birds ALSO belong to a clade called “archosaurs,” which includes crocodilians, all extinct dinosaurs, and pterosaurs. This is confusing because the “archosaur” clade is a subcategory of the reptile class!!!

How are birds not reptiles but still reptiles???

What???

Someone who knows more about biology/evolution/zoology than I do, please help???