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True birds first appeared about 100 million years ago. BIRDS (class Aves) are the last living subgroup of the theropod dinosaurs. In the 65 million years since the extinction of the rest of the dinosaurs, this ancestral lineage has evolved into the feathery, toothless birds of today.
There are about 10,000 species of birds. Human activity has caused hundreds of species to become extinct and about 1,500 species are presently in danger of extinction. The most common threats to birds are habitat loss, environmental pollution and nonnative predators.
Some bird species exhibit traits of intelligence, such as good memories, complex communication, ability to remember the past to solve problems, and the ability to plan for the future. Some bird species make and use tools. Some species have even developed a form of culture by passing along knowledge across generations.