1. Organism
    found exclusively in birds
  2. Variety of feathers with the same basic components of keratinized epithelium
    feather follicle

    calamus or quill


    barbs and barbules
  3. feather follicle
    feather follicle: columns of epidermal cells that project into the skin to form an invagination
  4. calamus or quill
    calamus or quill: hollow projection that forms the base of the feather's central shaft extending from the follicle
  5. rachis
    rachis: a keratinized epidermal sheath with an inner feather shaft that extends from the calamus
  6. barbs and barbules
    barbs and barbules: rachis continues basic branching patterns to create extensions of the feathers that have small hooking modifications to interlock with each other
  7. types of feathers





  8. flight
    wing: windproof surfaces on both sides of central shaft (asymmetric); wind resistance created by microstructures tightly linking barbules together

    tail: similar interlocking to wing; six pairs of feathers getting increasingly asymmetric as they fan outward; evolved as showy structures
  9. function of flight feathers
    the wing specifically helps in preventing twisting in the air while the tail helps steering
  10. contour wing structure
    covers body and gives bird shape

    arranged in overlapping layers

    tips of feathers closely linked

    base of feathers loose and fluffy
  11. function of contour feather
    waterproofing (tips of feathers that are interlocked)

    reduce drag (used to smooth areas where flight feathers attach)

  12. down feathers stricture
    located around entire body

    no shaft--barbs extend directly out of calamus

    very short and fluffy

    positioned close to body
  13. down feathers function
    insulation-- short fluffy feathers under other feathers trap body heat
  14. filoplume feathers structure
    short and simple feathers


    grow alongside down feathers

    very few barbs extending from rachis
  15. function of filoplume feathers
    insulation: work with down feathers

    sensory perception: similar to whiskers in sensing position of contour and flight feathers
  16. semiplume feathers structures
    mostly hidden under other feathers

    have no hooks on barbules making feathers loose and fluffy
  17. function of semiplume feathers
    insulation--underneath other feathers trapping body heat
  18. bristle feather structure
    • simplest feather
    • usually lacking barbs and barbules
    • found on the face of the bird
  19. function of bristle feather
    protection: protect face of bird when in flight
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