Talk:Flight feather

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Flight feather:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Article requests: illustration of methods of attachment for remiges
  • Expand: add section on evolution of flight feather

Merge of various flight feather stubs[edit]

I propose that several existing stub articles -- Remiges, Rectrices, and Pinion (and all their various redirects) -- be pointed to this article instead. This would have the dual purpose of eliminating several stub articles while also giving readers a more complete overview of the subject. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MeegsC (talkcontribs)


I was very disappointed to see that this article makes no substantive mention of evolution. (The word appears in various forms three times in the article, however there is no discussion, and the term is not even linked to evolution.)
Per the United States National Academy of Sciences book Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science:

"Evolution is the central organizing principle that biologists use to understand the world. To teach biology without explaining evolution deprives students of a powerful concept that brings great order and coherence to our understanding of life." [1]

The fact that the earliest known bird, Archaeopteryx, already possessed well-developed flight feathers is one of the most interesting facts about it.
The omission of any mention of evolution from this article represents either a reprehensible oversight or an even more reprehensible conscious decision to avoid controversy.
Respectfully, -- Writtenonsand (talk) 10:28, 25 December 2007 (UTC) -- Wikipedia:WikiProject Evolutionary biology

Hmm. Good point. I'm certainly willing to further expand the article—though to be honest, you should always feel free to be bold and do it yourself! : ) By the way, accusing other editors of "reprehensible" decisions and then signing your post "respectfully" is probably not the best way to encourage people to take your comments as the constructive criticism they're intended to be... MeegsC | Talk 19:41, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Evolution is mentioned briefly, so it's not that we're avoiding controversy with this article. Maybe a link to Feather#Evolution?-Wafulz (talk) 19:33, 25 December 2007 (UTC)


Well done on FA status. WEBURIEDOURSECRETSINTHEGARDEN 17:05, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Attachment of remiges[edit]

I found this article quite helpful in getting started on this subject, but I question the source for the statement " the long calami, or quills, are deeply imbedded into the bones themselves". I am still trying to clarify how the flight feathers are attached to their respective limbs, but I have not seen any other references to their being deeply imbedded into the bones. The secondaries attach to "bumps" on the ulna, but I have not read how they attach to these bumps. The bumps aparrently do not appear on the manus or humerus, so I have seen even less description of these attachments. PLEASE CLARIFY AND DOCUMENT THIS POINT. eric (talk) 02:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi Eric. I moved this section to the bottom of the page, because it's recommended that these pages remain in chronological order, with the newest bits at the bottom. I'll go through my references today or tomorrow to further clarify the remige information as you've requested, and will see if Shyamal can do up a picture better demonstrating the methods of attachment. Stay tuned! MeegsC | Talk 09:50, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Still looking for better details. HBW volume 1 says "The remiges have different names depending on their position on the wing, into which the long calami are deeply inserted." (emphasis mine). However, it's not clear as to whether that means into the bones, or just into the wing as a unit. I really need to have a look at an ornithology textbook, but—doesn't it figure—the ones I have are all currently on another continent. Maybe I'll patrol the roads tomorrow and see if I can find a dead bird or two to examine (though that, of course, would be OR!) I can, however, expand the secondaries info a bit, and will do so now... MeegsC | Talk 20:31, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks very much for looking into this further. I think the nature of the connection of flight feathers is important beacuse it is so interesting in the first place that they are directly connected to the limb bones of the wing, and it is obvious that this connection must be solid for the flight feathers to serve their intended purpose. I have just ordered a copy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology home study text book, your source for this new information on the remiges. eric (talk) 01:20, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Glad it helped! We'll continue to add more details as they come to light; we (at WP:BIRD) have been trying to find a reference that better explains the primary feather attachments. See Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Birds#Ornithology textbook for more details... And feel free to join the project if you're interested in birds; we could always use more editors! ; ) MeegsC | Talk 08:08, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


does anybody know any graphics presenting how primaries rotate in order to reduce air resistance on the upstroke? it would be very useful to have at least a link to it. --discourseur 23:49, 2 August 2008 (UTC)