Wednesday, September 7, 2011


 There are many parts of feathers:
  • The Vanes (This is how you spell vanes on feathers.)
  • The Shaft
  • The Quill
 These are the main parts.

 The Vanes are the soft part of the feather that if you rub the wrong way the break apart.
If you get a magnifying glass and a flash light and a feather and looked very carefully at the vanes you can probably be able to see tiny little hairs lining the vanes. When you rub the Vane the wrong way they come apart but if you rub then the opposite way the stick back together.
Well this is caused by tiny little barbs attached to the vanes.
The Barbs hook on to vanes without barbs. These are called Barbules.
The Shaft is is the poll that runs down the length of the feather and all the vanes attach to it.
It's made out of a substance called Keratin. (Rhinoceros horns and animal claws are made of this as well as your fingers nails.)

The Quill is the tip of the quill that attaches to the bird. (It used to be used for writing because the quill could usually hold a small amount of ink.)

When you see a bird about to get into the water it will rub it's self with it's bill and then get in.
This is called preening and ducks, swans and gees will do this to oil and zip their feathers to block out the water and to stay afloat.

It really is quite amazing.

  •  Now... when you are holding a feather you can break the little hairs a part and then when you rub them  the stick back together.

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