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Feather variations

Feathers are epidermal growths that form distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on dinosaurs, both avian and some non-avian, and possibly other archosauromorphs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates[1][2] and a premier example of a complex evolutionary novelty.[3] They are among the characteristics that distinguish the extant birds from other living groups.[4]

Although feathers cover most of the bird's bodies, they arise only from certain well-defined tracts on the skin. They aid in flight, thermal insulation, and waterproofing. In addition, coloration helps in communication and protection.[5] Plumology (or plumage science) is the name for the science that is associated with the study of feathers.[6][7]

Structures and characteristics

Feathers are epidermal growths that form distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on dinosaurs, both avian and some non-avian, and possibly other archosauromorphs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates[1][2] and a premier example of a complex evolutionary novelty.[3] They are among the characteristics that distinguish the extant birds from other living groups.[4]

Although feathers cover most of the bird's bodies, they arise only from certain well-defined tracts on the skin. They aid in flight, thermal insulation, and waterproofing. In addition, coloration helps in communication and protection.[5] Plumology (or plumage science) is the name for the science that is associated with the study of feathers.[6][7]