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Plural nouns with no definite article may create generalizations. Singular nouns with a definite article may also signify a generalization.

Plural Nouns as Generalizations

Birds are wild creatures. 

Birds are happiest living in their natural habitat.

Elephants are gentle animals.

Fish are divided between fresh water fish and salt water fish.

Insects are the most prolific breeders of all living forms. 

Spores reproduce asexually.

Some mushrooms are not edible.

Robins are a very common bird.

Horses are very strong animals.

Camels have a temper.

Singular Nouns  as Generalizations 

The bird is a wild creature. 

The bird is happiest living in its natural habitat.

The elephant is a gentle animal.

The dolphin is divided between fresh water fish and salt water species.

The insect is the most prolific breeder of all living forms. 

The spore reproduces asexually.  

The mushroom is not always edible.

The robin is a very common bird.

The horse is a very strong animal.

The camel has a temper.