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What's the function of this part of a feather?

Mizzely

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Sorry for so many questions, not even really expecting an answer, but I wonder why only the Quaker, Senegal , RFM and male Princess parrots have it? It's just fascinating to me!

No idea! I honestly thought it was unique to quakers until I was looking into it! It's odd that only Senegals would have them and not other poicephalus!


Wow! :geek: I have both a quaker and a senegal -- Im going to check this out! Thanks @Mizzely and @CrazyBirdChick for bringing this to our attention!

Oh yes I would love to see if the Senegal has them, especially since I didn't realize they did!
 

Leih

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Thanks for finding that, Shawna! I haven't had time to look. But, a few weeks ago I was looking up the alula as it's really pronounced on my conure :

20190829_114809.jpg
 

Hjarta5

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Are these it?

upload_2019-8-29_12-3-11.png

Heres my chicken butts:

20180225_114237.jpg
 

Mizzely

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Hmmm... maybe this is a case of convergent evolution? It's when nature develops a similar trait in animals that live far apart. Each species needed the extra maneuverability for something.

I also think it's interesting when you see an evolutionary trait that is going extinct, but you still see remnants of it in the animal.
 

Leih

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Hmmm... maybe this is a case of convergent evolution? It's when nature develops a similar trait in animals that live far apart. Each species needed the extra maneuverability for something.

I also think it's interesting when you see an evolutionary trait that is going extinct, but you still see remnants of it in the animal.
But don't all birds share a common ancestor, despite where the modern species may live in the planet?
 

Leih

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My point being I think they're all descended from dinosaurs and it looks like other birds have something similar. Birds are fascinating, biologically, I had no idea until recently how incredibly complex they are!
 

Mizzely

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But don't all birds share a common ancestor, despite where the modern species may live in the planet?

Of course they probably do, but it would go back all the way to therapods in the Jurassic era... Evolution will find ways to diversify, especially when separated by continents. These guys also share a common ancestor, and are some of the most closely related animals on the planet.

(Rock hyrax and african elephant)

elephants-rock-hyrax.jpg.1000x0_q80_crop-smart.jpg

 

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But don't all birds share a common ancestor, despite where the modern species may live in the planet?
It's basically nature's way of filling a niche. Animals that live in similar environments often have similar evolutionary "solutions" to survival (like fins and wings).



 

Rain Bow

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This was all quite interesting! Now I have to look @ Buddy's wings again. Maybe hubby can help me get a few pics because I swear he had a few of these but maybe when I looked I remembered it wrong.
:bash: Can this help my memory?

Shawna, I swear your the queen :queen:of birdy research & answers when we're stumped!

*Hats off to you!*
 

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It's possible other species have this trait as well but it hasn't been well documented.

Here's another interesting feather... at least to me. Jayde, Red Throated Conure (RIP) Third flight feather in, it tapers off at the end





I haven't noticed any of my other birds with a feather like this... other conures included.
 

Karen

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The "Guide to the Quaker Parrot" by Mattie Sue Athan says, "ornithologists call this unusual feather shape 'notching' or 'emargination'. These feathers facilitate slow flight, maneuverability, hovering, and backward flight." Other species that have this feature are senegal parrots, red fronted macaws, and male princess parrots.
Thank you!I love learning new birdie info!
 
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