Why can’t ostriches fly?

The flying organ of an ostrich is different from other birds, which is another reason why it can’t fly. The flying organs of birds mainly include wings and feathers transformed from forelimbs. Among the feathers, the real flying function is the flying feather and tail feather. The flying feather grows on the wings and the tail feather grows on the tail. This feather is composed of many slender feather branches. Each feather branch is densely covered with rows of feather twigs. There are hooks on the feather twigs, which hook each feather branch to form feathers, Feathers fan the air and make birds fly. The tail feathers born in the tail can also be connected into feathers by feather hooks, which plays the role of rudder in flight.

In order to maintain the normal function of birds’ flying organs, they also have a tail fat gland, which secretes oil to protect their feathers from deformation. Birds that can fly also pay attention to the way in which their feathers are attached to the body surface. Generally, they are divided into feather areas and naked areas, that is, some areas on the body surface distribute feathers and some areas do not have feathers. This way of attaching feathers is conducive to vigorous flying movement. Ostrich feathers have neither flying nor tail feathers, nor tail fat gland, a feather maintainer. The way of feather implantation is all evenly distributed on the body surface. There are no feather areas and naked areas. Its flying organs are highly degraded, so it is impossible to fly.

So why do ostriches’ flying organs degenerate? This starts with the origin of birds. It is speculated that about 200 million years ago, an ancient reptile evolved into a bird. It is inconclusive which reptile is the ancestor of birds. With the prosperity of bird families and the gradual change from aquatic to terrestrial environment, while adapting to the changeable land environment, birds have also adapted to different lifestyles. There are many ecological types, such as waterfowls such as penguins, waders such as red crowned cranes, swimming birds such as mallard ducks, land birds such as turtledoves, raptors such as owls, climbing birds such as cuckoos and songbirds such as magpies, Ostrich is another type of so many ecological types — the representative of walking birds. Living in the vast desert for a long time, its wings and tail are degraded, but its hind limbs are developed and powerful, so that it can adapt to the life of running in the desert.

The laws of nature are ruthless, adaptable and irresistible. If the ancestors of ostriches insisted on flying over the empty desert instead of finding some edible food in the desert, they might have been extinct long ago. To say the least, if nature first settled the ancestors of ostriches in the woods rather than in the desert, ostriches might not become flightless birds, but perhaps they would not be called ostriches.

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