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Feathers: and the Birds-of-Paradise | Cornell / National Geographic

August 30, 2018

Display feathers are highly evolved versions of a basic feather. They no longer have the standard structure of a central quill and a vane made of tiny interlocking barbs. They’ve evolved into fluffy plumes or stiff wires, some with hard ornaments or tabs. These radical changes, and the muscles that let the bird move them, serve no purpose other than to improve the male’s chances during courtship. The Cornell Lab’s Ed Scholes explains. Filmed and photographed by Tim Laman.

There are currently seventy-two short films in the entire Birds-of-Paradise Project playlist, ranging from 26 seconds to 8:29. In the upcoming weeks, we will present some of our favorites.

A film from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

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