05 February 2010

Birds may use their feathers for touch, using them to feel their surroundings just as cats use their whiskers, sez BBC

 "…By providing sensory feedback to a bird about its environment, such feathers can provide a distinct advantage, particularly to birds living in dark or crowded environments. 'Birds living in complex habitats are likely to encounter greater density of objects or clutter that they have to avoid.' So such feathers could help birds avoid bumping into burrow ceilings, tree branches and undergrowth. Feathers around the face would prove especially useful, as they might stop a bird damaging vital organs, such as eyes, eardrums, nostrils and bill.…"

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