contour feather

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Related to Contour feathers: Flight feathers, Down feathers

contour feather

[′kän‚tu̇r ‚feth·ər]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of the large flight feathers or long tail feathers of a bird. Also known as penna; vane feather.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The presence of contour feathers is important because it bears on whether early birds were warm-blooded.
In their first year, birds typically pass through four plumages, a downy one followed by three that include contour feathers. The latter are, in order of appearance, juvenal, first-winter, and first-summer plumages.
Diagnosis was based on clinical signs (dystrophic feathers and severe loss of contour feathers); the presence of viral DNA in a whole-blood sample, as determined by PCR testing; the presence of microscopic lesions (large numbers of histiocytic cells containing intracytoplasmic inclusions typical for circovirus); and positive results of immunohistochemical staining from the bursa of Fabricius and feather follicles.
The feather identification technique involves both examining the microscopic variation in characters in the plumulaceous (downy) barbs that are located at the base of most contour feathers (Fig.