What are air-terrestrial animals: examples and characteristics

The planet earth is full of life, made up of different types of organisms, from bacteria, through plants and, of course, animals. Within the latter there are air-terrestrial animals.

Take a tour with us of its main characteristics, details and possible habitats. Fascinate yourself with the curiosities that air-terrestrial animals they have to show and give us a hand replicating the importance that each of them have within the ecosystems in which they live.

What are air-terrestrial animals?

Air-terrestrial animals are all those that have the ability to carry out their vital functions, such as feeding, resting and reproducing both in terrestrial and aerial spaces. Although they can be handled in the areas, air and earth, most of their vital functions are carried out on earth.

Air-terrestrial animals have the ability to move by walking using their legs as well as flying or gliding, thanks to their wings or special gliding structures.

Although most air-terrestrial animals are flying, There are also species included in this category that do not fly, but do plan or make great jumps..

Air-terrestrial animals: main groups

The main species or types of animals that are part of this typology are: birds, flying insects, certain species of arachnids, mammals that have the ability to fly, reptiles and some marsupials. There are many species, but it is well worth stopping to see some of their most outstanding specimens and be fascinated by their ability to adapt.

You may also be interested in: Heterotrophic plants: all about these particular vegetables that do not photosynthesize

Share air and land to survive

Air-terrestrial animals have developed this dual ability to live as a sense of survival. Their evolutionary capacity allows them to move in these two areas, air and land, in order to meet their basic vital needs more efficiently.

In the case of naturally flying animals, such as birds and some types of insects, they have the ability to soar through the skies, thanks to their respiratory and muscular systems adapted to flight. Although they have evolved to be able to fly, this action requires tremendous energy expenditure, and that is why a large part of their daily actions are carried out in terrestrial space, such as nesting, reproducing, eating and sleeping.

On the other hand they are land animals that have the ability to glide. These air-terrestrial animals usually use this skill to be able to move more quickly from one point to another, as well as to be able to escape from their predators with greater agility. Obviously they can also apply it to catch a possible prey more easily.

Air-terrestrial animals: characteristics that define them

Air-terrestrial animals, due to their characteristics and details they are one of the most researched topics by teachers, students. Such curiosity is due to the spectacular nature of their abilities.

We can divide the characteristics of air-terrestrial animals according to their type of skeleton and mobility mechanisms.

skeleton types

The skeletal system is the one that provides a support structure to the organs, muscles and tissues of different types of animals.

For example, birds and mammals are part of the so-called vertebrates, those that have an endoskeleton, which is made up of bones. These bones, in turn, are joined by joints, which act as a kind of tie.

On the other hand we have the arthropods, a family to which a large part of the insects belong. These types of animals have the so-called exoskeleton, that is, an external skeleton, which in addition to being a support for organs and muscles, functions as a kind of protective shield.


Mobility in the different types of air-terrestrial animals can be based on legs, wings and patagio.

In the case of paws, these are limbs that serve as support for the animal’s body, allowing it to move in the terrestrial environment. Air-terrestrial animals that have legs can be bipedal (two-legged) like birds, quadrupedal (four-legged) and arthropods like spiders that have 8 legs.

On the other hand are the at, in most species, such as birds, these are the result of the evolution of the forelimbs. They cover themselves with feathers allowing them to fly.

Finally, there are the animals that have a patagium, which is an extension of the skin that, being elastic, forms a kind of membrane that allows them to fly or glide, depending on the type of animal. For example chiroptera such as bats, have this type of membrane that joins the fingers and the front limbs, creating a support that allows them to sustain active flight.

Air-terrestrial animals: examples of mammals, insects and reptiles

Below we show you some air-terrestrial animals, examples of birds, mammals, insects and even reptiles that have the ability to function both on land and in the air.

1. The Macaws: These beautiful birds with colorful plumage, native to South America, are known for building their nests in the hollows of trees. They have the ability to fly long distances, but decide to lay their eggs in tall trees with lots of foliage to protect them from possible predators.

2. The Dragonfly: With its strong and transparent wings, this insect has the ability to fold its wings towards its abdomen, which is why it belongs to the Paleoptera group. It is also characterized by its flat abdomen and for hunting its food on the ground, apart from the fact that it can fly with great agility.

3. Burrowing Owl: this bird is one of the most striking air-terrestrial animals. This is because although it can fly and reach the tops of the trees, it builds its burrows on the ground, especially in the meadows and in areas where grazing is common.

4. Earth Bee: this type of bees belongs to the group called meliponas, that is, those that do not have a stinger. These bees build their nests on the ground, on a rock wall or at the foot of trees. They usually leave their nests semi covered.

5. Flying Golden Serpent: This type of snake is an air-terrestrial animal that glides instead of flying. It is said that it does so to be able to move more quickly from one point to another and also to be able to attack its possible prey by surprise.

6. Bat: This air-terrestrial animal bears the title of being the only mammal with the ability to fly. It achieves this thanks to the fact that it has a patagium, the extension of skin that goes from its fingers to its forelimbs, forming a kind of wings. They usually live in caves, cracks and trees.

7. Wallace’s Flying Frog: It is an amphibian that has the ability to glide no less than a distance of 160 cm. It achieves this, since when launching from one branch to another it extends its fingers and legs, stretching its extremities and thus managing to avoid the air to glide.

8. The chickens: famous air-terrestrial animals present in much of the world’s farms and rural areas. These birds carry out their vital activities on land, but they have the ability to fly at least a few meters.

You may also be interested in: Discover the incredible meaning of dreaming about these 6 species of animals

Air-terrestrial animals: evolution and adaptability

As we have been able to observe air-terrestrial animals are a clear example of the possibilities of adaptability and survival that living beings can achieve thanks to evolution. Although they are animals that need the land to be able to survive, since most of them carry out their daily actions in this environment, they have been able to take advantage of the air to improve their livelihoods.

Whether to gather food, protect their young, escape from a possible predator or otherwise attack their prey more easily, these animals are fascinating.

Some can make long flights, others can glide thanks to the membranes of their bodies or simply take long jumps from one point to another. The interesting thing is how they can take advantage of the air and the earth at the same time without much problem.

We invite you to continue researching other species of air-terrestrial animals, what their habitats are, what contributions they make to their ecosystem and, above all, what actions we can take together to take care of them. The planet is rich in biodiversity and air-terrestrial animals are just one example of the achievements of nature if we give it time and above all if we respect and protect it.

You may also be interested in: Distress: What is it and how is it related to work stress?