Hirundinidae Stock Video Footage


hirundinidae

The Hirundinidae have an evolutionarily conservative body shape which is similar across the clade but is unlike that of other passerines. Swallows have adapted to hunting insects on the wing by developing a slender, streamlined body and long pointed wings, which allow great maneuverability and endurance, as well as frequent periods of gliding. Their body shape allows for very efficient flight the metabolic rate of swallows in flight is 49–72% lower than equivalent passerines of the same size. Swallows have two foveae in each eye, giving them sharp lateral and frontal vision to help track prey. They also have relatively long eyes, with their length almost equaling their width. The long eyes allow for an increase in visual acuity without competing with the brain for space inside of the head. The morphology of the eye in swallows is similar to that of a raptor. Like the unrelated swifts and nightjars, which hunt in a similar way, they have short bills, but strong jaws and a wide gape. Their body length ranges from about 10–24 cm (3.9–9.4 in) and their weight from about 10–60 g (0.35–2.12 oz). The wings are long, pointed, and have nine primary feathers. The tail has 12 feathers and may be deeply forked, somewhat indented, or square-ended. A long tail increases maneuverability, and may also function as a sexual adornment, since the tail is frequently longer in males. In barn swallows the tail of the male is 18% longer than those of the female, a...




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