contour feather

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  • noun

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feathers covering the body of an adult bird and determining its shape

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References in periodicals archive ?
In this study, feather samples were identified mainly by microscopic examination of the downy (plumulaceous) barbs that are located at the base of most contour feathers (Fig.
The semiplumes were fully developed by day 20-23 but were covered over by the emerging contour feathers by day 28.
We collected 3-5 contour feathers, plucked from the body, and 2 sets of oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs from each duck at 24-hour intervals from days 2 through 10 postinoculation (pi).
Contour feathers are found on the wings and tail; they cover the body and outline its shape.
Down feathers, for example, are hidden beneath the surface and provide warmth, while contour feathers at the surface provide color, camouflage, and aerodynamic benefits.
Contour feathers have broad, flat blades that cover and shape the bird's body.