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Vane macrostructure of primary feathers and its adaptations to flight in birds

Pap, Peter L. ; Vincze, Orsolya ; Vágási, Csongor I. ; Salamon, Zsuzsa ; Pándi, Andrea ; Bálint, Blanka ; Nord, Andreas LU ; Nudds, Robert L. and Osváth, Gergely (2019) In Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 126(2). p.256-267
Abstract
The selection pressures that drive flight feather morphology are poorly understood. Using a phylogenetic comparative approach and data from 178 species of birds, we investigated whether both position along the wing length and flight feather length affected vane structure. We found that barb density was lower on distal primaries than on proximal primaries of the leading feather vane. In contrast, on the trailing vane only mid-point barb density differed and, here, it showed denser barbs on the distal primaries. This difference was greater at the feather base than at the tip. Barb angle was higher along the full length of the leading edge vane on the proximal primaries than on the distal primaries. Overall, barb density decreased from base... (More)
The selection pressures that drive flight feather morphology are poorly understood. Using a phylogenetic comparative approach and data from 178 species of birds, we investigated whether both position along the wing length and flight feather length affected vane structure. We found that barb density was lower on distal primaries than on proximal primaries of the leading feather vane. In contrast, on the trailing vane only mid-point barb density differed and, here, it showed denser barbs on the distal primaries. This difference was greater at the feather base than at the tip. Barb angle was higher along the full length of the leading edge vane on the proximal primaries than on the distal primaries. Overall, barb density decreased from base to tip on both trailing and leading vanes on both the proximal and the distal primaries. In general, barb angle was less acute at the feather base than at the tip. Barbs were in general denser in continuous flapping fliers than in soarers and the angle of barbs on both the proximal and the distal primaries was affected by flight type. However, we did not identify consistent differences in the pattern of barb angle change among flight style groups. These findings add new perspectives to our understanding of the functional morphology of the flight feather vane, although we still have limited knowledge on how aerodynamic forces, particularly during take-off and landing, affect the morphology of the feather vane. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
The selection pressures that drive flight feather morphology are poorly understood. Using a phylogenetic comparative approach and data from 178 species of birds, we investigated whether both position along the wing length and flight feather length affected vane structure. We found that barb density was lower on distal primaries than on proximal primaries of the leading feather vane. In contrast, on the trailing vane only mid-point barb density differed and, here, it showed denser barbs on the distal primaries. This difference was greater at the feather base than at the tip. Barb angle was higher along the full length of the leading edge vane on the proximal primaries than on the distal primaries. Overall, barb density decreased from base... (More)
The selection pressures that drive flight feather morphology are poorly understood. Using a phylogenetic comparative approach and data from 178 species of birds, we investigated whether both position along the wing length and flight feather length affected vane structure. We found that barb density was lower on distal primaries than on proximal primaries of the leading feather vane. In contrast, on the trailing vane only mid-point barb density differed and, here, it showed denser barbs on the distal primaries. This difference was greater at the feather base than at the tip. Barb angle was higher along the full length of the leading edge vane on the proximal primaries than on the distal primaries. Overall, barb density decreased from base to tip on both trailing and leading vanes on both the proximal and the distal primaries. In general, barb angle was less acute at the feather base than at the tip. Barbs were in general denser in continuous flapping fliers than in soarers and the angle of barbs on both the proximal and the distal primaries was affected by flight type. However, we did not identify consistent differences in the pattern of barb angle change among flight style groups. These findings add new perspectives to our understanding of the functional morphology of the flight feather vane, although we still have limited knowledge on how aerodynamic forces, particularly during take-off and landing, affect the morphology of the feather vane. (Less)
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author
; ; ; ; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
barb angle, barb density, flight, flight feather, functional morphology, bird
in
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
volume
126
issue
2
pages
256 - 267
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85062183072
ISSN
0024-4066
DOI
10.1093/biolinnean/bly189
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9e4e9c13-faa5-474c-ba39-a2970fc71a7d
date added to LUP
2019-01-24 14:14:39
date last changed
2021-01-06 05:16:32
@article{9e4e9c13-faa5-474c-ba39-a2970fc71a7d,
  abstract     = {The selection pressures that drive flight feather morphology are poorly understood. Using a phylogenetic comparative approach and data from 178 species of birds, we investigated whether both position along the wing length and flight feather length affected vane structure. We found that barb density was lower on distal primaries than on proximal primaries of the leading feather vane. In contrast, on the trailing vane only mid-point barb density differed and, here, it showed denser barbs on the distal primaries. This difference was greater at the feather base than at the tip. Barb angle was higher along the full length of the leading edge vane on the proximal primaries than on the distal primaries. Overall, barb density decreased from base to tip on both trailing and leading vanes on both the proximal and the distal primaries. In general, barb angle was less acute at the feather base than at the tip. Barbs were in general denser in continuous flapping fliers than in soarers and the angle of barbs on both the proximal and the distal primaries was affected by flight type. However, we did not identify consistent differences in the pattern of barb angle change among flight style groups. These findings add new perspectives to our understanding of the functional morphology of the flight feather vane, although we still have limited knowledge on how aerodynamic forces, particularly during take-off and landing, affect the morphology of the feather vane.},
  author       = {Pap, Peter L. and Vincze, Orsolya and Vágási, Csongor I. and Salamon, Zsuzsa and Pándi, Andrea and Bálint, Blanka and Nord, Andreas and Nudds, Robert L. and Osváth, Gergely},
  issn         = {0024-4066},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {256--267},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Biological Journal of the Linnean Society},
  title        = {Vane macrostructure of primary feathers and its adaptations to flight in birds},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/bly189},
  doi          = {10.1093/biolinnean/bly189},
  volume       = {126},
  year         = {2019},
}