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Birds (Aves), a subgroup of reptiles, are the last living dinosaurs. They are a group of endothermic vertebrates, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) ostrich. They rank as the class of tetrapods with the most living species, at approximately ten thousand, with more than half of these being passerines, sometimes known as perching birds. Birds are the closest living relatives of crocodilians.
The fossil record indicates that birds evolved from feathered ancestors within the theropod group of saurischian dinosaurs. True birds first appeared during the Cretaceous period, around 120 million years ago. DNA-based evidence finds that birds diversified dramatically around the time of the Cretaceous–Palaeogene extinction event 66 million years ago, which reduced the Pterosaurs, and killed off all the non-avian dinosaur lineages. Birds, especially those in the southern continents, survived this event and then migrated to other parts of the world while diversifying during periods of global cooling. Primitive bird-like dinosaurs that lie outside class Aves proper, in the broader group Avialae, have been found dating back to the mid-Jurassic period, around 170 million years ago. Many of these early “stem-birds”, such as Archaeopteryx, were not yet capable of fully powered flight, and many retained primitive characteristics like toothy jaws in place of beaks, and long bony tails.
Advantages of Bird PNG Format
- Higher bit depths (more colors) PNG allows for 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24 and 32 bit images, smashing the 8-bit barrier
- A permanent, royalty-free license PNG is being developed by the W3C, and will always be a free and open standard
- Multiple layers of transparency Bird PNG images allow for full alpha channel transparency, which makes moving images from one background to another easy.
- Uses a lossless image compression technique, hence no information is lost and the image is retrieved keeping the same quality.
- Supports all the true colors, unlike the contemporary GIF format which only supports 256 colors.
- Alpha channel support in PNG images allows transparency of the file format which is not possible with other file formats.