Wings and Feathers

Wings and Feathers Do you think of birds as animals that fly? That’s only partly correct. In fact, though all birds have wings, some don’t fly. The world’s three biggest birds—the ostrich, the cassowary, and the emu—are flightless. Their bodies are too heavy to be held up in the air by wings. Instead, these birds run. Ostriches can run as fast as horses gallop— about 40 miles an hour. A running ostrich might lift its wings to gain an extra push from the wind. Some smaller birds are also flightless. Penguins don’t need flight because they live mostly in the water. These speedy underwater swimmers use their short, narrow wings like flippers. Their wings help them push themselves through the water quickly. We know that these flightless animals are birds because they all have some form of feathers. That’s one thing that you’ll find on every bird and on no other animal. ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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