What is a Filoplume?

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What is a Filoplume?

At the base of the large feathers that are easy to see are three smaller, supporting feathers that work together to insulate the body.

Afterfeather: small, downy plumes that attach to the main feather that help insulate against the cold water.

Plumules: small, soft feather that attaches directly to the penguin’s skin. Wilson’s study found there were four times as many plumules as afterfeathers, which was a surprise to the experts.

Filoplumes: small, narrow shaft barely a centimeter long that sits at the base of the feather and detects when a feather has become displaced and needs to be preened.

Before the 2015 study, filoplumes were only thought to exist on birds that fly, not penguins, emus, and ostriches. However, a study proved that penguins need to preen their feathers to prevent freezing the same way that flying birds need to preen their feathers to maintain proper flight stability.

SOURCES:

Brennan, Patricia. Penguins and Other Flightless Birds. Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc, 2002.

Daigle, Evelyne. The World of Penguins. New York, NY: Tundra Books, 2007.

Simon, Seymour. Penguins. New York, NY: Collins, 2007.

SLJ Staff. “And Tango Makes Three’ Tops Most Challenged List, Again.” School Library Journal. April 12, 2011. Accessed: January 30, 2013.

Stamps Showing Emperor Penguin Aptenodyte forsteri.” Theme Birds. Accessed: January 30, 2013.

Stefoff, Rebecca. Penguins. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2005.

Walsh, Michael. “Scientists Solve the Mystery of Penguins’ Incredibly Fast Underwater Swimming Speed: A Secret Layer of Bubbles.” Daily News. October 20, 2012. Accessed: January 19, 2013.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/e/emperor-penguin/

https://www.factretriever.com/penguin-facts

http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/wildlife/animals/penguins

http://ocean.si.edu/penguins

http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/20/busting-myths-about-penguin-feathers/

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#penguins #birds #canpenguinsfly #CGW #coolgrossweird #besurprised #flocked

 

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