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Do birds and insects (such as butterflies) share any structural similarities that would...

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sadset142 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted April 16, 2012 at 7:21 PM via web

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Do birds and insects (such as butterflies) share any structural similarities that would suggest they are closely related taxonomically?

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 17, 2012 at 12:25 AM (Answer #1)

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Birds are warm-blooded vertebrates and insects are invertebrates, that are cold-blooded. Although both evolved the ability to fly, the wings of each are considered analagous structures. Upon examination, bird wings contain hollow bones, muscle, skin, nerves, feathers, and insect wings are membranous and contain no bones or feathers. Analagous structures perform similar functions(in this case--flight)but were arrived at via different evolutionary pathways. Insects predated birds in the fossil record and were among the first organisms to live on land. Birds evolved around the same time as mammals. Analagous traits arise due to convergence, where different species exist in similar environments and have similar niches. The evidence to support whether these two organisms are related such as DNA evidence, shows that these two creatures have many differences in their DNA, suggesting that they are not closely related. Comparative anatomy of structural features indicates that they are not closely related.


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