Feathers are one of the epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds and some non-avian theropod dinosaurs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates, and indeed a premier example of a complex evolutionary novelty. They are among the characteristics that distinguish the extant Aves from other living groups. Feathers have also been noticed in those Theropoda which have been termed feathered dinosaurs. Although feathers cover most parts of the body of birds, they arise only from certain well-defined tracts on the skin. They aid in flight, thermal insulation, waterproofing, and coloration ...

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  1. A branching, hair-like structure that grows on the wings of birds that allows their wings to create lift.
  2. Long hair on the lower legs of a dog or horse, especially a draft horse, notably the Clydesdale breed. Narrowly only the rear hair.
  3. One of the fins or wings on the shaft of an arrow.
  4. A longitudinal strip projecting from an object to strengthen it, or to enter a channel in another object and thereby prevent displacement sideways but permit motion lengthwise; a spline.
  5. Kind; nature; species (from the proverbial phrase "birds of a feather").
  6. A thin wedge driven between the two semicylindrical parts of a divided plug in a hole bored in a stone, to rend the stone.
  7. The angular adjustment of an oar or paddle-wheel float, with reference to a horizontal axis, as it leaves or enters the water.


  1. To cover or furnish with feathers.
  2. To arrange in the manner or appearance of feathers.
    The stylist feathered my hair.
  3. To rotate the oars while they are out of the water to reduce wind resistance.
  4. To streamline the blades of an aircraft's propeller by rotating them perpendicular to the axis of the propeller when the engine is shut down so that the propeller doesn't windmill as the aircraft flies.
    After striking the bird, the pilot feathered the left, damaged engine's propeller.
  5. To finely shave or bevel an edge.
  6. To intergrade or blend the pixels of an image with those of a background or neighboring image.
  7. To adorn, as with feathers; to fringe.
  8. To render light as a feather; to give wings to.
  9. To enrich; to exalt; to benefit.
  10. To tread, as a cock.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: feather
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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