Feathers_2011 - Feathers They are highly specialized and...

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Feathers They are highly specialized and diverse, making them … the most complex derivative of integument found in any vertebrate
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All feathers have the same basic structure Calamus (firmly anchored) Rachis (note “groove” on bottom) Vane ( pennaceous vs plumulaceous ) Barbs Barbules ( proximal barbules have ridges vs. distal barbules have hooks)
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Proximal and Distal Barbules
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Birds vs. Bats 1. Light weight, flexible, easily repairable 2. Not vascularized a. Reduce weight b. Reduce heat loss 1. Components (feathers) easily replaced
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Types of Feathers All variations on the same structural theme There are 5 or 6 types of feathers, often without clear boundaries between them All occur on every bird (with few exceptions)
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Contour Feathers There are 3 types of Contour feathers 1. Body feathers (part pennaceous, part plumulaceous) 2. Remiges (wing; asymmetrical!) 3. Retrices (tail)
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Semiplumes Mostly plumulaceous, with long rachis Intermediate in structure between contour and down feathers
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Feathers_2011 - Feathers They are highly specialized and...

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