The United States is home to about eighteen different species of hummingbirds, and many people enjoy watching these tiny birds in their backyards. Do avian hobbyists qualify as dinosaur lovers? Do hummingbirds resemble dinosaurs at all?
What Is a Hummingbird?
The Trochilidae family of small birds, which includes hummingbirds, is indigenous to the Western Hemisphere. There are around 340 species that inhabit the Americas as a whole, with 48 species found in Mexico and the United States. They are among the most prosperous and diversified groups of birds in their range, which reaches from Tierra del Fuego to Canada.
In addition to being the smallest birds on Earth, hummingbirds have the fastest metabolisms. Their diet consists primarily of insects and nectar, with certain species showing extreme specialisation in a particular food source. A hummingbird’s rapid metabolism is partly due to its need to maintain its fast flight and agility.
Hummingbirds may fly backward and beat their wings more than 700 times per minute. The numerous hummingbirds on Earth are the only birds with this talent. In addition, some species of them travel great distances at times, reaching speeds of over thirty miles per hour, as they follow seasonal resources across the American continents.
What Is a Dinosaur?
During the Triassic Period approximately 250 million years ago, a group of reptiles known as dinosaurs made their initial appearance. From then on, they dispersed around the globe as a diaspora of creatures with different sizes, appetites, and environments. The Chicxulub asteroid struck Earth around 66 million years ago, resulting in the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period.
All birds are living dinosaurs since they are the direct offspring of therapod dinosaurs. Compared to crocodiles, alligators, or any other living reptile, they have a closer ancestry with extinct dinosaur species. Unlike their ancient counterparts who gave origin to reptiles like crocodiles and alligators, many of the dinosaurs that gave life to modern-day birds were most likely warm-blooded.
Are Hummingbirds Actually Dinosaurs?
In reality, hummingbirds and all other birds on the earth are dinosaurs. Hummingbirds are the tiniest dinosaurs known to exist, though.
Because they shared a common ancestor with the dinosaurs, birds are the closest extant descendants of dinosaurs. All birds are descended from dinosaurs, even though dinosaurs and birds are not related.
Certain dinosaurs are the direct ancestors of hummingbirds and all other birds. They diverged more than 125 million years ago from other theropod dinosaurs. By then, some dinosaurs had progressively developed a bird’s body, and birds as we know them today were born out of this anatomical model.
Discover Why Birds Are Dinosaurs
Given their lineage, birds are dinosaurs. Their body architecture, behaviour, and bone composition are some of the physical traits they inherited.
A particular kind of dinosaur known as birds descended from a class of dinosaurs known as therapods. Around 66 million years ago, they did not go extinct with the rest of the dinosaurs.
A terrestrial dinosaur species once underwent an evolutionary transition to become an avian species. This path then gave rise to the bird species that exist today. Dinosaurs decreased in size from an average of 400 pounds to less than 2 pounds during a period of 50 million years.
The skeletons of living birds and prehistoric dinosaur species are remarkably similar. Warm-blooded for millions of years, these creatures most likely formerly had feathers similar to fine hair before evolving into the variety of forms they have today.
Certain dinosaurs have hip sockets that are similar to birds’ in that they have a hole that lets them stand up straight. What sets dinosaurs apart from other creatures like plesiosaurs and pterosaurs is their capacity for upright walking and the hole they require.
This lineage is associated with brooding and nesting through the lives of certain dinosaurs that are the ancestors of modern humans. Nevertheless, flying did not develop until a creature like a bird came into being; the earliest dinosaur ancestors of birds did not fly.
The Smallest Hummingbird Is the Smallest Dinosaur
Not only is the Cuban bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) the tiniest bird alive, but it is also the smallest dinosaur. On the other hand, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which is closely linked to birds, is the largest therapod dinosaur that has ever existed. The T-rex can easily weigh over ten thousand pounds, yet the tiniest hummingbirds weigh less than a hundredth of an ounce on average.
Because bee hummingbirds are native to Cuba, their diminutive size can be attributed to the natural tendency of island creatures to get smaller over successive generations. They are comparable in size to bumblebees, with the larger ones being less than 2.5 inches long. The size of these hummingbirds’ eggs is equivalent to that of unroasted coffee beans due to their tiny size.