Southwest Wings: Summer Festival Free Talks – Glenn Minuth: How Birds Work: The Skeleton Structure Matters

This is the first episode of a new annual presentation that will explain how the various bird body systems work. 

You’ll “take-off” with just the bare bones—meaning, an exploration of the bird’s skeletal system. Can you guess how bird skeletons have adapted to be more robust than that of a mammal skeleton?  They have to be light enough for flight, but also strong enough to take the strain of flight–so how do avifauna overcome these conflicts? Remember:  you can’t interpret birds’ skeletal features without bearing in mind exactly how the skeleton functions while flying and in other activities. Birds’ skeletons possess some unique adaptations achieved by both fusion of skeletal elements and by pneumatization.  You’ll be able to identify and name bird bones corresponding to the mammal bones you may have already learned along with some new ones. More importantly, you will be able to “bone-up” on how bird skeletons differ from those of mammals and explain the functional significance of these differences. You will understand why the unique features of bird skeletons might or might not be considered as adaptations to flight.  Ultimately, we will unpack the structure and the inner workings of the avian skeletal system piece by piece to build a better picture for how they survive and thrive.


Southwest Wings Summer Festival 2022 Free Program

All of these programs are absolutely free and open to everyone. No registration is required. We hope that many people will attend and learn about this amazing place, southeastern Arizona. Some lectures are associated with field trips, for which there is a registration fee and a charge. Please see the Field Trip Section for details. Several Free Programs have a carpool system where participants use their own transportation. All programs will be held at Cochise College Library. Please make some time to see these free events.

  • Audience: Adult
  • Genre: Field Sciences
  • Type: Expo/Festival, Presentation


Aug 05 2022


12:00 pm - 1:15 pm



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Cochise STEM Hub


Cochise College Sierra Vista Campus
901 N. Colombo Ave., Sierra Vista, AZ, 85635


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