Breakfast for a descendant of dinosaurs
Most paleontologists believe that birds evolved from theropods, predatory dinosaurs in the Jurassic period about 150-200 million years ago (and can be considered the only clade (a group of organisms that have a common ancestor) of dinosaurs that survived the Cretaceous disaster about 65.5 million years ago). The most ancient such find is considered to be the fossilized remains of Archaeopteryx, an animal that lived 155-150 million years ago and had features of both modern birds and reptiles.
Another view is that birds are descended from tecodonts, with protoavis or longisquama, who lived during the Triassic period, being considered as the ancestor of birds. In the latter case, the animals commonly called maniraptora dinosaurs, like VelociRaptor, are considered to be birds (reference from Wikipedia). Numerous rodent fossils have been known since the beginning of the Eocene (65 million years ago), and one species has been described from upper Paleocene deposits (75 million years ago).
However, despite the great variety and high number of modern forms, the order is relatively poorly represented in the paleontological chronicle. Prehistoric rodents inhabited southern, Central, and southern North America. Outwardly, they resembled modern rodents-Dormouse, beaver, Guinea pig, capybara and pakarana, differing from their modern descendants in giant size. Telecoms (giant pacarana) had a height of 2 m, and phoberomys reached a weight of 680 kg. Ancient rodents were herbivorous. BBC News reported that relatively recently in Uruguay found the fossilized remains of an animal that, according to scientists, is the largest known to science representatives of the order of rodents. It was about the size of a bull and weighed about a ton. Researchers believe that such three-meter rodents lived in the mouths of rivers about 2-4 million years ago.
The antiquity of the origin of birds and rodents contributed to the development of a number of adaptations that are not found in other living creatures. These animals are characterized by a number of anatomical and morphological features, including digestive and metabolic organs, and various nutritional needs.
Birds: features and taste preferences.
The nature of the diet of ornamental birds can be determined by the appearance of the beak. In the bird’s body, it plays the role of teeth. Birds that eat small food in nature-insects, grass seeds have small sharp beaks. Parrots have a rather massive curved beak, which is necessary for biting the fruit. The beak grows throughout the bird’s life. When crushing food, the beak is worn off.
From the oral cavity, the crushed food enters the goiter-organ for additional softening and initial microbiological processing. Further along the esophagus, the food enters a complicated stomach consisting of the pre-ventricle, glandular and muscular stomach. In the latter, the food is literally ground with the help of gastroliths – stones and grains of sand that the bird receives from the outside. The bird should receive gastroliths with food constantly, since they wear out and are excreted from the body over time. If there is a lack of gastroliths, digestion is disrupted, which leads to diseases of the bird. Crushed and fermented food then enters the intestines, where it is assimilated.
As for feeding techniques, experts recommend giving birds the entire daily feed allowance at once. It’s better to do it in the evening. Feathered mothers are fed twice-in the morning and in the afternoon. The amount of grain mix depends on the size of the bird: small parrots consume 20-25 g of grain(1 tbsp), medium 30-35 g (1.5 tbsp). Canaries require an average of 1.5 tbsp. l., during the molting period-up to 2 tbsp. of grain mixture per day. The amount of food may vary due to weather conditions and individual characteristics of the pet. Mineral sources and gastroliths must always be present in the cell. Special vitamin preparations are administered strictly according to the instructions.
Components of feed for birds are divided into grain, juicy and animal feed.
Grain feed is the main source of calories for poultry. For example, grain feed for parrots consists of various varieties of millet, oats, Canary, sunflower, corn, hemp, and nuts. For feeding Canaries, Canary seed, canola, hemp seed, millet, salad seed, linseed, oatmeal, surepa seeds, small buckwheat are used. Grain can be mixed (as it is done in ready-made feeds), or it can be given separately. In addition to dry, it is necessary to pamper a feathered pet with sprouted grain – it contains a lot of useful substances. Small parrots are also recommended to give soaked oats and sunflower seeds.
For large and medium-sized parrots, corn is introduced into the grain mix by many feed manufacturers – an excellent source of protein and carbohydrates.
Current problems are obesity of birds due to improper maintenance and feeding, as well as poisoning caused by spoiled food. Both problems can be caused by the wrong combination of grains in the feed, their inadequate quality. Experts divide the grain by the content of oils in them. Seeds and nuts with a high oil content have a shorter shelf life. These include sunflowers, peanuts, hemp, pumpkin seeds, and poppy seeds. In the presence of oxygen, fat becomes rancid. For best preservation, feed manufacturers use vacuum sealed packaging. Grain with a low oil content is well stored in a cool dry place in canvas bags to avoid mustiness. It includes: Canary seed, corn, millet, oats, wheat.
The most commonly used animal feed is chicken eggs (boiled or powdered), bone meal, and low-fat cottage cheese. Animal feed birds may need during the breeding season and intensive growth.
Juicy foods include vegetables and fruits. Apples, pears, oranges, bananas, figs, and the like are served in fairly large chunks. Grapes, cherries and berries are given whole. Many parrots are happy to eat cucumbers, melons and carrots. Lettuce, Brussels sprouts, endive chicory, spinach and other vegetables are suitable as green food. Dandelion and starfish are recommended from easily accessible wild forage grasses. Pamper your pet, but do not abuse it, as green food can cause indigestion. It is better to replace juicy feeds twice a day.
For those who do not want to put food experiments on their pet, we recommend using industrial feed for birds. Fortunately, there is plenty of choice in pet stores for every taste and budget. When choosing a ready-made feed for birds, you must be guided by two main factors – the tightness of the package and the freshness of the grain. If you are unsure of the freshness of the grain in the finished mixture, you can try to germinate it. High germination indicates the freshness of the seeds.