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. 


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. 


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. 


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???


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