Interesting facts about feathers

Posted on Feb 8, 2021      214

Birds owe their beauty to their plumage. Thanks to it, many people distinguish the species of feathered birds, but with little knowledge of its peculiarities. We offer interesting facts about feathers, which are another miracle of nature and are often used by people in the most unexpected spheres of life.

1. If you believe the theory of evolution, feathers were formed from the scales that covered the body of reptiles. Thus, the strong covering turned into a light and flexible covering, which allowed for flight above the ground. Today, however, this version of the origin of the feathers is disputed by many scientists.

2. It covers feathers with a special substance that does not get wet. It is what protects birds from rain. When it comes into contact with it, the drops drip off the feathers without getting them wet. For the same reason, waterfowl never drown - their tail has a gland that secretes fat. Birds smear it all over their bodies with their beak, thus preventing the feathers from getting wet.

3. The mechanism of keeping feathers from getting wet is quite simple. The surface of the feathers repels water, which causes an air layer to form between it and the down. As a result, the bird’s density in relation to water decreases. If the feathers get wet, it will drown.

4. Feathers protect birds not only from water but also from heat, cold, and even ultraviolet rays. You could say that it is a universal protection for different seasons.

5. Down feathers can keep the bird’s body warm, even in icy winds. The fact is that down is a perfect insulator, with which even synthetic materials can’t be compared.

6. The bright plumage of peacocks can be called an optical illusion, because really their feathers are brown. The fact is that the interference of light, a phenomenon in which there is a distortion of light waves, occurs because of the special structure of the feather. This makes it colorful. A similar effect can be observed in soap bubbles.

7. The feathers can be called a wing in miniature because of their structure. The front side of their wings is narrower than the back side. And at the bottom of their trunk there is a small groove, thanks to which they can bend strongly without breaking.

8. Owls’ feathers are arranged so that their flight is silent. This allows the birds to hunt at night without scaring away their prey.

9. In the process of wear and tear, feathers age and fall out. New ones grow in their place, so birds never lose their ability to fly.

10. Only birds have feathers. No other animal in the world has them.