Feather Silhouette PNG Vector Transparent Images

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Uploaded on on Jun 30, 2021


Feathers are epidermal growths that form a distinctive outer covering or plumage of dinosaurs, both avian (bird) and some non-avian (non-bird) and possibly other archosauromorphs. These are considered to be the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates and the best example of complex evolutionary novelty. These are among the characteristics that distinguish existing birds from other living groups.

Although the feathers cover most of the bird’s body, they only appear in certain well-defined areas of the skin. They aid in flight, thermal insulation, and waterproofing. In addition, coloration helps communication and protection. Plumology (orplumage science) is the name of the science associated with the study of feathers.

The feathers are among the most complex integumentary appendages found in vertebrates and formed in small follicles in the epidermis or outer layer of the skin that produce keratin proteins. Β-keratins in feathers, beaks, and claws and the claws, scales, and shells of reptiles – are composed of protein strands hydrogen-bonded into β-folded sheets, which are then twisted and crosslinked by disulfide bridges in structures, eventougher than the α-keratins of mammalian hair, horns and hooves. The exact signals that induce the growth of feathers on the skin are not known, but it has been found that the transcription factor cDermo-1 induces the growth of the feathers on skin and scales on the leg.


There are two main types of feather vaned feathers, which cover the outside of the body, and down feathers, which are located under the vaned feathers. The pennaceous feathers are vaned feathers. Also called contour feathers, pennaceous feathers arise from the tracts and cover the whole body. The third rarer type of feather, the filoplume is hair-like and closely associated with pennaceous feathers and are often entirely hidden by them, with one or two filoplumes attached and sprouting almost at the same point on the skin as each pennaceous, at least on a bird’s head, neck, and trunk.

Filoplumes are entirely absent in ratites passerines, filoplumes arise exposed beyond the pennaceous feathers on the neck. The wings, or flight feathers on the wing, and rectrices, or flight feathers on the tail, are the most important feathers for flight. A typical vaned feather features a main shaft, called the rachis.

Fused with rachis are a series of branches or barbs; the barbs themselves are also branched and form barbules. These barbules have minute hooks called barbicels for cross-attachment. Down feathers are fluffy because they do not have a barbicels, so the barbules float free from each other, allowing the down to trap air and provide excellent thermal insulation.

At the base of the feather, the rachis expands to form an hollow tubular calamus (or quill) which inserts into a skin follicle. The basal part of the calamus is without vanes. This part is embedded in the skin follicle and has an opening at the base (proximal navel) and a small opening on the side (distal navel).

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