Basic body colors of cattle and the breeds identified with those colors; Expected color patterns when crossing breeds of various colors; Expected offspring color patterns from a three-way cross using the F1 cow ; Breeds which commonly leave specific color markings suggesting their presence in crossbred calves; etc. But there is still a draconian attitude to this and we are in the 11th hour of opportunity. Our thoughts and prayers are with him at this awful time and we want him to know that we are all here for him if we can help in anyway at all. Dangers of Routine Vaccinations. That still leaves a lot of wiggle room, and anatomists are taking it. Richard Lister, March 22, Disingenuous not, pragmatic yes. But then I read of the continuing search for the Holy Grail or at least another one to go with the one Monty Python pursued many years ago.
Some bird species undertake shorter migrations, travelling only as far as is required to avoid bad weather or obtain food. Irruptive species such as the boreal finches are one such group and can commonly be found at a location in one year and absent the next.
This type of migration is normally associated with food availability. Altitudinal migration is a form of short distance migration in which birds spend the breeding season at higher altitudes and move to lower ones during suboptimal conditions. It is most often triggered by temperature changes and usually occurs when the normal territories also become inhospitable due to lack of food.
Parrots as a family are overwhelmingly neither migratory nor sedentary but considered to either be dispersive, irruptive, nomadic or undertake small and irregular migrations. For diurnal migrants, the sun is used to navigate by day, and a stellar compass is used at night.
Birds that use the sun compensate for the changing position of the sun during the day by the use of an internal clock. Birds communicate using primarily visual and auditory signals. Signals can be interspecific between species and intraspecific within species. Birds sometimes use plumage to assess and assert social dominance,  to display breeding condition in sexually selected species, or to make threatening displays, as in the sunbittern 's mimicry of a large predator to ward off hawks and protect young chicks.
Visual communication among birds may also involve ritualised displays, which have developed from non-signalling actions such as preening, the adjustments of feather position, pecking, or other behaviour. These displays may signal aggression or submission or may contribute to the formation of pair-bonds.
Bird calls and songs , which are produced in the syrinx , are the major means by which birds communicate with sound. This communication can be very complex; some species can operate the two sides of the syrinx independently, allowing the simultaneous production of two different songs. The Coenocorypha snipes of New Zealand drive air through their feathers,  woodpeckers drum for long distance communication,  and palm cockatoos use tools to drum.
While some birds are essentially territorial or live in small family groups, other birds may form large flocks. The principal benefits of flocking are safety in numbers and increased foraging efficiency. This has led to the development of many mixed-species feeding flocks , which are usually composed of small numbers of many species; these flocks provide safety in numbers but increase potential competition for resources. Birds sometimes also form associations with non-avian species.
Plunge-diving seabirds associate with dolphins and tuna , which push shoaling fish towards the surface. The high metabolic rates of birds during the active part of the day is supplemented by rest at other times. Sleeping birds often use a type of sleep known as vigilant sleep, where periods of rest are interspersed with quick eye-opening "peeks", allowing them to be sensitive to disturbances and enable rapid escape from threats.
Some birds have also demonstrated the capacity to fall into slow-wave sleep one hemisphere of the brain at a time. The birds tend to exercise this ability depending upon its position relative to the outside of the flock.
This may allow the eye opposite the sleeping hemisphere to remain vigilant for predators by viewing the outer margins of the flock. This adaptation is also known from marine mammals. Many sleeping birds bend their heads over their backs and tuck their bills in their back feathers, although others place their beaks among their breast feathers. Many birds rest on one leg, while some may pull up their legs into their feathers, especially in cold weather. Perching birds have a tendon locking mechanism that helps them hold on to the perch when they are asleep.
Many ground birds, such as quails and pheasants, roost in trees. A few parrots of the genus Loriculus roost hanging upside down. One species, the common poorwill , even enters a state of hibernation. Ninety-five per cent of bird species are socially monogamous. These species pair for at least the length of the breeding season or—in some cases—for several years or until the death of one mate.
Female birds have sperm storage mechanisms that allow sperm from males to remain viable long after copulation, a hundred days in some species. For females, possible benefits of extra-pair copulation include getting better genes for her offspring and insuring against the possibility of infertility in her mate. Other mating systems, including polygyny , polyandry , polygamy , polygynandry , and promiscuity , also occur.
Breeding usually involves some form of courtship display, typically performed by the male. Some displays, however, are quite elaborate. Depending on the species, these may include wing or tail drumming, dancing, aerial flights, or communal lekking. Females are generally the ones that drive partner selection,  although in the polyandrous phalaropes , this is reversed: Homosexual behaviour has been observed in males or females in numerous species of birds, including copulation, pair-bonding, and joint parenting of chicks.
Many birds actively defend a territory from others of the same species during the breeding season; maintenance of territories protects the food source for their chicks. Species that are unable to defend feeding territories, such as seabirds and swifts , often breed in colonies instead; this is thought to offer protection from predators.
Colonial breeders defend small nesting sites, and competition between and within species for nesting sites can be intense.
All birds lay amniotic eggs with hard shells made mostly of calcium carbonate. There are many exceptions to this pattern, however; the ground-nesting nightjars have pale eggs, and camouflage is instead provided by their plumage.
Species that are victims of brood parasites have varying egg colours to improve the chances of spotting a parasite's egg, which forces female parasites to match their eggs to those of their hosts. Bird eggs are usually laid in a nest. Most species create somewhat elaborate nests, which can be cups, domes, plates, beds scrapes, mounds, or burrows. Most birds build nests in sheltered, hidden areas to avoid predation, but large or colonial birds—which are more capable of defence—may build more open nests.
During nest construction, some species seek out plant matter from plants with parasite-reducing toxins to improve chick survival,  and feathers are often used for nest insulation. The absence of nests is especially prevalent in ground-nesting species where the newly hatched young are precocial. Incubation , which optimises temperature for chick development, usually begins after the last egg has been laid.
Warmth from parents passes to the eggs through brood patches , areas of bare skin on the abdomen or breast of the incubating birds. Incubation can be an energetically demanding process; adult albatrosses, for instance, lose as much as 83 grams 2. The diversity of characteristics of birds is great, sometimes even in closely related species.
Several avian characteristics are compared in the table below. At the time of their hatching, chicks range in development from helpless to independent, depending on their species.
Helpless chicks are termed altricial , and tend to be born small, blind , immobile and naked; chicks that are mobile and feathered upon hatching are termed precocial. Altricial chicks need help thermoregulating and must be brooded for longer than precocial chicks. The young of many bird species do not precisely fit into either the precocial or altricial category, having some aspects of each and thus fall somewhere on an "altricial-precocial spectrum".
The length and nature of parental care varies widely amongst different orders and species. At one extreme, parental care in megapodes ends at hatching; the newly hatched chick digs itself out of the nest mound without parental assistance and can fend for itself immediately. The main purpose of the guard stage is to aid offspring to thermoregulate and protect them from predation. In some species, both parents care for nestlings and fledglings; in others, such care is the responsibility of only one sex.
In some species, other members of the same species—usually close relatives of the breeding pair , such as offspring from previous broods—will help with the raising of the young. Among most groups of animals, male parental care is rare. In birds, however, it is quite common—more so than in any other vertebrate class. The point at which chicks fledge varies dramatically.
The chicks of the Synthliboramphus murrelets, like the ancient murrelet , leave the nest the night after they hatch, following their parents out to sea, where they are raised away from terrestrial predators. In most species, chicks leave the nest just before, or soon after, they are able to fly. The amount of parental care after fledging varies; albatross chicks leave the nest on their own and receive no further help, while other species continue some supplementary feeding after fledging.
Brood parasitism , in which an egg-layer leaves her eggs with another individual's brood, is more common among birds than any other type of organism. Brood parasites may be either obligate brood parasites , which must lay their eggs in the nests of other species because they are incapable of raising their own young, or non-obligate brood parasites , which sometimes lay eggs in the nests of conspecifics to increase their reproductive output even though they could have raised their own young.
Birds have evolved a variety of mating behaviours, with the peacock tail being perhaps the most famous example of sexual selection and the Fisherian runaway. Commonly occurring sexual dimorphisms such as size and colour differences are energetically costly attributes that signal competitive breeding situations. Conflicts between an individual fitness and signalling adaptations ensure that sexually selected ornaments such as plumage coloration and courtship behaviour are "honest" traits.
Signals must be costly to ensure that only good-quality individuals can present these exaggerated sexual ornaments and behaviours. Inbreeding causes early death inbreeding depression in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata.
However, there are ecological and demographic constraints on extra pair matings. Inbreeding depression occurs in the great tit Parus major when the offspring produced as a result of a mating between close relatives show reduced fitness. In natural populations of Parus major , inbreeding is avoided by dispersal of individuals from their birthplace, which reduces the chance of mating with a close relative. Southern pied babblers Turdoides bicolor appear to avoid inbreeding in two ways.
The first is through dispersal, and the second is by avoiding familiar group members as mates. Within their group, individuals only acquire breeding positions when the opposite-sex breeder is unrelated. Cooperative breeding in birds typically occurs when offspring, usually males, delay dispersal from their natal group in order to remain with the family to help rear younger kin. In general, inbreeding is avoided because it leads to a reduction in progeny fitness inbreeding depression due largely to the homozygous expression of deleterious recessive alleles.
Birds occupy a wide range of ecological positions. Even within a single habitat, such as a forest, the niches occupied by different species of birds vary, with some species feeding in the forest canopy , others beneath the canopy, and still others on the forest floor.
Forest birds may be insectivores , frugivores , and nectarivores. Aquatic birds generally feed by fishing, plant eating, and piracy or kleptoparasitism. Birds of prey specialise in hunting mammals or other birds, while vultures are specialised scavengers. Avivores are animals that are specialised at preying on birds. Some nectar-feeding birds are important pollinators, and many frugivores play a key role in seed dispersal.
Birds are often important to island ecology. Birds have frequently reached islands that mammals have not; on those islands, birds may fulfil ecological roles typically played by larger animals.
For example, in New Zealand the moas were important browsers, as are the kereru and kokako today. A wide variety of avian ecology field methods , including counts, nest monitoring, and capturing and marking, are used for researching avian ecology. Since birds are highly visible and common animals, humans have had a relationship with them since the dawn of man.
Several bird species have become commercially significant agricultural pests,  and some pose an aviation hazard. Birds can act as vectors for spreading diseases such as psittacosis , salmonellosis , campylobacteriosis , mycobacteriosis avian tuberculosis , avian influenza bird flu , giardiasis , and cryptosporidiosis over long distances. Some of these are zoonotic diseases that can also be transmitted to humans. Domesticated birds raised for meat and eggs, called poultry , are the largest source of animal protein eaten by humans; in , 76 million tons of poultry and 61 million tons of eggs were produced worldwide.
Many species of birds are also hunted for meat. Bird hunting is primarily a recreational activity except in extremely undeveloped areas. The most important birds hunted in North and South America are waterfowl; other widely hunted birds include pheasants , wild turkeys , quail, doves , partridge , grouse , snipe , and woodcock. Other commercially valuable products from birds include feathers especially the down of geese and ducks , which are used as insulation in clothing and bedding, and seabird faeces guano , which is a valuable source of phosphorus and nitrogen.
The War of the Pacific , sometimes called the Guano War, was fought in part over the control of guano deposits. Birds have been domesticated by humans both as pets and for practical purposes. Colourful birds, such as parrots and mynas , are bred in captivity or kept as pets, a practice that has led to the illegal trafficking of some endangered species. Today, such activities are more common either as hobbies, for entertainment and tourism,  or for sports such as pigeon racing.
Amateur bird enthusiasts called birdwatchers, twitchers or, more commonly, birders number in the millions. Birds play prominent and diverse roles in religion and mythology. In religion, birds may serve as either messengers or priests and leaders for a deity , such as in the Cult of Makemake , in which the Tangata manu of Easter Island served as chiefs  or as attendants, as in the case of Hugin and Munin , the two common ravens who whispered news into the ears of the Norse god Odin.
They may also serve as religious symbols , as when Jonah Hebrew: Birds have featured in culture and art since prehistoric times, when they were represented in early cave paintings. Among the most famous of these bird artists was John James Audubon , whose paintings of North American birds were a great commercial success in Europe and who later lent his name to the National Audubon Society.
Perceptions of bird species vary across cultures. Owls are associated with bad luck, witchcraft , and death in parts of Africa,  but are regarded as wise across much of Europe. In music , birdsong has influenced composers and musicians in several ways: Though human activities have allowed the expansion of a few species, such as the barn swallow and European starling , they have caused population decreases or extinction in many other species. Over a hundred bird species have gone extinct in historical times,  although the most dramatic human-caused avian extinctions, eradicating an estimated — species, occurred during the human colonisation of Melanesian , Polynesian , and Micronesian islands.
The most commonly cited human threat to birds is habitat loss. Governments and conservation groups work to protect birds, either by passing laws that preserve and restore bird habitat or by establishing captive populations for reintroductions.
Such projects have produced some successes; one study estimated that conservation efforts saved 16 species of bird that would otherwise have gone extinct between and , including the California condor and Norfolk parakeet. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrates with wings, feathers and beaks. For other uses, see Bird disambiguation and Birds disambiguation.
For other uses, see Aves disambiguation and Avifauna disambiguation. List of fossil bird genera. Sibley—Ahlquist taxonomy of birds and dinosaur classification. Lists of birds by region and List of birds by population. Bird anatomy and Bird vision.
Feather and Flight feather. Song of the house wren , a common North American songbird. A tooth-billed bowerbird mimicking a spangled drongo. A woodpecker drumming on wood. Parental care in birds. Sexual selection in birds. Late Quaternary prehistoric birds , List of extinct birds , and Raptor conservation.
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In numerous water tests we have found excessive heavy metal levels that would affect your health. What are the negative health effects from heavy metals? Definition of a Heavy Metal What metals are in our water? How do we remove heavy metals? Heavy metals are dangerous because they tend to bioaccumulate. Bioaccumulation means an increase in the concentration of a chemical in a biological organism over time, compared to the chemical's concentration in the environment.
Compounds accumulate in living things any time they are taken up and stored faster than they are broken down metabolized or excreted. Heavy metals can enter a water supply by industrial and consumer waste, or even from acidic rain breaking down soils and releasing heavy metals into streams, lakes, rivers, and groundwater.
The association of symptoms indicative of acute toxicity is not difficult to recognize because the symptoms are usually severe, rapid in onset, and associated with a known exposure or ingestion Ferner The symptoms of toxicity resulting from chronic exposure impaired cognitive, motor, and language skills; learning difficulties; nervousness and emotional instability; and insomnia, nausea, lethargy, and feeling ill are also easily recognized; however, they are much more difficult to associate with their cause.
Symptoms of chronic exposure are very similar to symptoms of other health conditions and often develop slowly over months or even years. Sometimes the symptoms of chronic exposure actually abate from time to time, leading the person to postpone seeking treatment, thinking the symptoms are related to something else.
Simply stated, specific gravity is a measure of density of a given amount of a solid substance when it is compared to an equal amount of water. Some well-known toxic metallic elements with a specific gravity that is 5 or more times that of water are arsenic, 5. In small quantities, certain heavy metals are nutritionally essential for a healthy life. Some of these are referred to as the trace elements e.
These elements, or some form of them, are commonly found naturally in foodstuffs, in fruits and vegetables, and in commercially available multivitamin products International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre Diagnostic medical applications include direct injection of gallium during radiological procedures, dosing with chromium in parenteral nutrition mixtures, and the use of lead as a radiation shield around x-ray equipment Roberts Heavy metals are also common in industrial applications such as in the manufacture of pesticides, batteries, alloys, electroplated metal parts, textile dyes, steel, and so forth.
Many of these products are in our homes and actually add to our quality of life when properly used. The term heavy metal refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low concentrations.
Heavy metals are natural components of the Earth's crust. They cannot be degraded or destroyed. To a small extent they enter our bodies via food, drinking water and air.
As trace elements, some heavy metals e. However, at higher concentrations they can lead to poisoning. Heavy metal poisoning could result, for instance, from drinking-water contamination e. Aluminium Although aluminium is not a heavy metal specific gravity of 2. It is readily available for human ingestion through drinking water. Studies began to emerge about 20 years ago suggesting that aluminium might have a possible connection with developing Alzheimer's disease when researchers found what they considered to be significant amounts of aluminum in the brain tissue of Alzheimer's patients.
Although aluminum was also found in the brain tissue of people who did not have Alzheimer's disease, recommendations to avoid sources of aluminum received widespread public attention. As a result, many organizations and individuals reached a level of concern that prompted them to dispose of all their aluminum cookware and storage containers and to become wary of other possible sources of aluminum, such as soda cans, personal care products, and even their drinking water.
However, the World Health Organization WHO concluded that, although there were studies that demonstrate a positive relationship between aluminum in drinking water and Alzheimer's disease, the WHO had reservations about a causal relationship because the studies did not account for total aluminum intake from all possible sources.
Although there is no conclusive evidence for or against aluminum as a primary cause for Alzheimer's disease, most researchers agree that it is an important factor in the dementia component and most certainly deserves continuing research efforts. Therefore, at this time, reducing exposure to aluminum is a personal decision.
Arsenic Arsenic is the most common cause of acute heavy metal poisoning in adults. Arsenic is released into the environment by the smelting process of copper, zinc, and lead, as well as by the manufacturing of chemicals and glasses. Arsine gas is a common byproduct produced by the manufacturing of pesticides that contain arsenic.
Arsenic may be also be found in water supplies worldwide, leading to exposure of shellfish, cod, and haddock. Other sources are paints, rat poisoning, fungicides, and wood preservatives. Cadmium Cadmium is a byproduct of the mining and smelting of lead and zinc. It is used in nickel-cadmium batteries, PVC plastics, and paint pigments. It occurs mostly in association with zinc and gets into water from corrosion of zinc-coated "galvanized" pipes and fittings.
Copper Copper at very high levels is toxic and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of strength or, for serious exposure, cirrhosis of the liver. Water turns blue-green in colour as the corroded copper comes off the inside of the pipes and appears in the water as a precipitate. This reaction only occurs in a small percentage of cases.
Iron Iron is a heavy metal of concern, particularly because ingesting dietary iron supplements may acutely poison young children. Ingestion accounts for most of the toxic effects of iron because iron is absorbed rapidly in the gastrointestinal tract. The corrosive nature of iron seems to further increase the absorption.
Mercury Mercury is generated naturally in the environment from the degassing of the earth's crust, from volcanic emissions. It exists in three forms: Atmospheric mercury is dispersed across the globe by winds and returns to the earth in rainfall, accumulating in aquatic food chains and fish in lakes.
Mercury compounds were added to paint as a fungicide until These compounds are now banned; however, old paint supplies and surfaces painted with these old supplies still exist.