Feather

feathersplumagebarbulebarbsfiloplumeplumesbarbplumebarbicelbarbules
Feathers are epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds, other extinct species of dinosaurs, and possibly pterosaurs.wikipedia
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Bird

birdsavifaunanestling
Birds, also known as Aves, are a group of endothermic vertebrates, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton.

Integumentary system

integumentintegumentarytegument
They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates and a premier example of a complex evolutionary novelty. Feathers are among the most complex integumentary appendages found in vertebrates and are formed in tiny follicles in the epidermis, or outer skin layer, that produce keratin proteins.
The integumentary system includes hair, scales, feathers, hooves, and nails.

Pennaceous feather

pennaceouscontour feathersquill knob
The pennaceous feathers are vaned feathers.
The pennaceous feather is a type of feather present in most modern birds and in some other species of maniraptoriform dinosaurs.

Keratin

keratinouskeratinizationkeratinized
Feathers are among the most complex integumentary appendages found in vertebrates and are formed in tiny follicles in the epidermis, or outer skin layer, that produce keratin proteins.
the harder β-keratins are found only in the sauropsids, that is all living reptiles and birds. They are found in the nails, scales, and claws of reptiles, some reptile shells (Testudines, such as tortoise, turtle, terrapin), and in the feathers, beaks, and claws of birds. (These keratins are formed primarily in beta sheets. However, beta sheets are also found in α-keratins.)

Down feather

downpowder downdowny
There are two basic types of feather: vaned feathers which cover the exterior of the body, and down feathers which are underneath the vaned feathers.
The down of birds is a layer of fine feathers found under the tougher exterior feathers.

Dinosaur

dinosaursnon-avian dinosaursnon-avian dinosaur
Feathers are epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds, other extinct species of dinosaurs, and possibly pterosaurs.
Knowledge about dinosaurs is derived from a variety of fossil and non-fossil records, including fossilized bones, feces, trackways, gastroliths, feathers, impressions of skin, internal organs and soft tissues.

Crest (feathers)

crestcrestsheadcrest
Some species have a crest of feathers on their heads.
The crest is made up of semiplume feathers: a long rachis with barbs on either side.

Bristle

bristlesbristlyboar bristle
Bristles are stiff, tapering feathers with a large rachis but few barbs.
A bristle is a stiff hair or feather (natural or artificial), either on an animal, such as a pig, a plant, or on a tool such as a brush or broom.

Grebe

grebesPodicipediformesPodicepidae
Grebes are peculiar in their habit of ingesting their own feathers and feeding them to their young.
Grebes have unusual plumage.

Plumage

eclipse plumageplumesalbinism in birds
Feathers are epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds, other extinct species of dinosaurs, and possibly pterosaurs. White feathers lack pigment and scatter light diffusely; albinism in birds is caused by defective pigment production, though structural coloration will not be affected (as can be seen, for example, in blue-and-white budgerigars).
Plumage (plūma "feather") refers both to the layer of feathers that cover a bird and the pattern, colour, and arrangement of those feathers.

Structural coloration

structural colorstructural colourstructural
Structural coloration is involved in the production of blue colors, iridescence, most ultraviolet reflectance and in the enhancement of pigmentary colors.
For example, peacock tail feathers are pigmented brown, but their microscopic structure makes them also reflect blue, turquoise, and green light, and they are often iridescent.

Protein

proteinsprotein synthesisproteinaceous
Feathers are among the most complex integumentary appendages found in vertebrates and are formed in tiny follicles in the epidermis, or outer skin layer, that produce keratin proteins.
Most structural proteins are fibrous proteins; for example, collagen and elastin are critical components of connective tissue such as cartilage, and keratin is found in hard or filamentous structures such as hair, nails, feathers, hooves, and some animal shells.

Turacoverdin

Most feather pigments are melanins (brown and beige pheomelanins, black and grey eumelanins) and carotenoids (red, yellow, orange); other pigments occur only in certain taxa – the yellow to red psittacofulvins (found in some parrots) and the red turacin and green turacoverdin (porphyrin pigments found only in turacos).
Turacoverdin is one of the only true green pigments found in birds, as the coloration that appears in most green feathers is due to the unique properties of blue structural coloration in combination with yellow carotenoids.

Quill

quill penpencrowquill
At the base of the feather, the rachis expands to form the hollow tubular calamus (or quill) which inserts into a follicle in the skin.
On a true quill, the barbs are stripped off completely on the trailing edge.

Beta-keratin

β-keratinβ-keratinsbeta keratin
The β-keratins in feathers, beaks and claws — and the claws, scales and shells of reptiles — are composed of protein strands hydrogen-bonded into β-pleated sheets, which are then further twisted and crosslinked by disulfide bridges into structures even tougher than the α-keratins of mammalian hair, horns and hoof.
The scales, beaks, claws and feathers of birds contain β-keratin of the avian family.

Pin feather

pin feathersblood feathersblood, or pin feathers
New feathers, known when developing as blood, or pin feathers, depending on the stage of growth, are formed through the same follicles from which the old ones were fledged.
A pin feather, sometimes called a "blood feather", is a developing feather on a bird.

Preening (bird)

preeningallopreeningpreen
Birds maintain their feather condition by preening and bathing in water or dust.
There is evidence that filoplumes, specialized feathers buried under a bird's outer covering of contour feathers, help to signal when contour feathers have been displaced.

Feather hole

feather holes
Feather holes are chewing traces of lice (most probably Brueelia spp.
Feather holes often characteristically occur on wing and tail feathers of some small-bodied species of passerines.

Parrot

parrotsPsittacidaePsittaciformes
Most feather pigments are melanins (brown and beige pheomelanins, black and grey eumelanins) and carotenoids (red, yellow, orange); other pigments occur only in certain taxa – the yellow to red psittacofulvins (found in some parrots) and the red turacin and green turacoverdin (porphyrin pigments found only in turacos).
The Cacatuoidea are quite distinct, having a movable head crest, a different arrangement of the carotid arteries, a gall bladder, differences in the skull bones, and lack the Dyck texture feathers that—in the Psittacidae—scatter light to produce the vibrant colours of so many parrots.

Moulting

moultmoltmolting
A bird's feathers undergo wear and tear and are replaced periodically during the bird's life through molting.
Moulting can involve shedding the epidermis (skin), pelage (hair, feathers, fur, wool), or other external layer.

Melanin

eumelaninpheomelaninphaeomelanin
Most feather pigments are melanins (brown and beige pheomelanins, black and grey eumelanins) and carotenoids (red, yellow, orange); other pigments occur only in certain taxa – the yellow to red psittacofulvins (found in some parrots) and the red turacin and green turacoverdin (porphyrin pigments found only in turacos).
The darker feathers of birds owe their color to melanin and are less readily degraded by bacteria than unpigmented ones or those containing carotenoid pigments.

Dust bathing

dust bathdustbathingdust
Birds maintain their feather condition by preening and bathing in water or dust.
The birds spread one or both wings which allows the falling substrate to fall between the feathers and reach the skin.

Plume hunting

plume hunterplume tradeplume hunters
The hunting of birds for decorative and ornamental feathers (including in Victorian fashion) has endangered some species.
Plume hunting is the hunting of wild birds to harvest their feathers, especially the more decorative plumes which were sold for use as ornamentation, such as aigrettes in millinery.

Mammal

mammalsmammalianmammalia
They may serve a similar purpose to eyelashes and vibrissae in mammals.
The thickness of this layer varies widely from species to species; marine mammals require a thick hypodermis (blubber) for insulation, and right whales have the thickest blubber at 20 in. Although other animals have features such as whiskers, feathers, setae, or cilia that superficially resemble it, no animals other than mammals have hair.

Budgerigar

budgerigarsbudgiebudgies
White feathers lack pigment and scatter light diffusely; albinism in birds is caused by defective pigment production, though structural coloration will not be affected (as can be seen, for example, in blue-and-white budgerigars).
The tail is cobalt (dark-blue); and outside tail feathers display central yellow flashes.