What is a contour feather?

What is a contour feather?

Contour feathers (including the flight and tail feathers) define the body outline and serve as aerodynamic devices; filoplumes (hair feathers) and plumules (down feathers) are used principally as insulation, to conserve body heat. Colours and patterns in feathers serve as protective coloration or for sexual…

What were Archaeopteryx feathers like?

Archaeopteryx feathers, although less documented than its other features, were very similar in structure to modern-day bird feathers. Unlike modern birds, Archaeopteryx had small teeth, as well as a long bony tail, features which Archaeopteryx shared with other dinosaurs of the time.

What did Archaeopteryx use the feathers for?

As you can see, Archaeopteryx certainly had feathers, although whether these feathers were used for regulating its body temperature or for flight is a matter still open for debate. Feathers may have originally evolved for insulation and then been co-opted into flight.

What type of feathers did Archaeopteryx have?

Various specimens of Archaeopteryx showed that it had flight and tail feathers, and the well-preserved “Berlin Specimen” showed the animal also had body plumage that included well-developed “trouser” feathers on the legs.

How does a contour feather work?

Contour feathers on the wing, called covertscovertsCOH-vertsoverlapping feathers that shape the wing into an efficient airfoil, shape it into an efficient airfoilairfoilwinglike structure that produces lift and drag as it moves through the air by smoothing over the region where the flight feathers attach to the bone.

What is the difference between down and contour feathers?

My answer describes that contour feathers are the outermost layer of feathers on a bird and down feathers are beneath the contour feathers and keep the bird warm. The basic structure of a feather is formed from rachis, barbs, and barbules. Rachis are the central stem, like the trunk of a tree.

What are characteristics of Archaeopteryx?

Archaeopteryx is known to have evolved from small carnivorous dinosaurs, as it retains many features such as teeth and a long tail. It also retains a wishbone, a breastbone, hollow thin-walled bones, air sacs in the backbones, and feathers, which are also found in the nonavian coelurosaurian relatives of birds.

What are the three types of feather?

Feather types

  • Wing feathers. The wing feathers specialized for flight are characterized by uniform windproof surfaces, or vanes, on either side of the central shaft that are created by an interlocking microstructure.
  • Tail feathers.
  • Contour feathers.
  • Semiplume.
  • Down.
  • Filoplume.
  • Bristle.

What are the three types of flight feathers?

Remiges (wing flight feathers)

  • Primary feathers: These are the largest of the flight feathers and propel the bird through the air.
  • Secondary feathers: These run along the ‘arm’ of the wing and sustain the bird in the air, giving it lift.
  • Tertiary feathers: These are on the ‘upper arm’ of the bird.

What kind of tail feathers did Archaeopteryx have?

As in the wings of modern birds, the flight feathers of Archaeopteryx were somewhat asymmetrical and the tail feathers were rather broad.

What are the contour feathers of a bird?

Contour feather. Contour feather s form most of the surface of the bird, streamlining it for flight and often waterproofing it. The basal portion may be downy and thus act as insulation. The major contour feathers of the wing (remiges) and tail (rectrices) and their coverts function in… Contour feather s (including the flight and tail feathers)…

How big is the vane of an Archaeopteryx bird?

The feather has a total length of 58 mm, and the vane is 12 mm at the widest margin. The end of the feather has an obtuse angle of 110°, while the barbs branch off from the rachis at an angle of around 25°. The barbs branch noticeably into barbules, as in the feathers of modern birds.

How did Archaeopteryx lithographica get its name?

Coincidentally, von Meyer proposed the name Archaeopteryx lithographica for the feather, but not for the skeleton. Therefore, the official name of the animal was originally linked to the single feather rather than any actual skeleton, and is formally considered the original holotype.

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