Talk:Comb (anatomy)

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Guans have wattles and some have crests, but they don't seem to have combs. Can anyone confirm either way? --Macrakis 23:00, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move. JPG-GR (talk) 00:52, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

There are three main points against using Cockscomb as the name of this article. Obviously the plain Comb is out of the question, so it should be disambiguated. I just think this is the wrong way of disambiguating it, as using such an archane term confuses people and makes an inaccurate suggestion. I want to really work on improving this article and bringing it up GA class at least, but I am dissuaded by the improper name.

  1. A cock is a male Gallinaceous bird exclusively, but female birds of these species do have combs too, even if they are small or practically non-existent in some breeds. Thus, saying the proper term for the anatomical feature is "cockscomb" is misleading.
  2. Colloquially the simple "comb" is vastly more common than the archane "cockscomb".
  3. Modern reliable source material almost exclusively uses "comb". Just a few of the sources I have in front of me (mostly about chickens, which is primarily the bird people refer to anyway on this subject) can be found in my sandbox.

I would be comfortable with either Comb (anatomy) or Bird comb, but something needs to be done in my opinion. As a side point, bird comb gets 184k Google hits, with Cockscomb getting 159k, with all of the first ten other than this article being about the flower. VanTucky 00:33, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment - Biologically I agree to the move, but might a split be better, with this page either serving as a dab page or as an article for one other the other uses (like the helmet?)? Which term is most commonly used in cooking? Sabine's Sunbird talk 02:08, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I think cockscomb is, but it's such a rare ingredient in food today that I consider the impact of cooking to be negligible. A comb is an anatomical feature first and food last. VanTucky 02:16, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess so. I guess I support. Sabine's Sunbird talk 02:19, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Support Jimfbleak (talk) 05:47, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Purpose of the comb?[edit]

What's the purpose of the comb? Does it contain anything useful? Or it this a mating purpose type thing (biggest comb = best male?) Colinstu (talk) 15:55, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

That's a damn good question. I'll try and look it up, but bigger combs are definitely a male thing in the chickens. Steven Walling (talk) 21:26, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm also curious: what's the significance to evolution? Is it just for display? (talk) 01:29, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

  • The years pass and this question remains unanswered... Does no one know what a comb does or what function it serves on the head of a cock? KDS444 (talk) 08:39, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
The article states "The comb may be a reliable indicator of health and vigor.", which is the way it is thought of in modern poultry science. However, there is no citation given in the article. I will try to find one. I have also read suggestions that it is used in thermoregulation.__DrChrissy (talk) 14:16, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I always thought it also plays some roll in heat-venting but the only page I can find that supports that notion is this kids website by the American Society of Animal Science. 1. Actually, there are very few relevant pages found by googling "purpose of the chicken comb". JTdale Talk 11:13, 12 July 2014 (UTC)


Interested to see chicken combs are used in cookery. What do they taste of? Skin, presumably? Or is there some other flavor involved? Danceswithzerglings (talk) 21:41, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Title of article and use of 'cockscomb'[edit]

The title of this article is 'Comb(anatomy)'. I was therefore rather surprised and a little confused to see the term 'cockscomb' used so liberally in the article. I have worked with poultry for 20 years and I have not heard this term used once. Surely the body of the text should be consistent with the title and the term 'comb' used throughout, unless 'cockscomb' is a term used in specific circumstances such as cooking, in which case it needs a reference.DrChrissy (talk) 18:40, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

I'd just go ahead and change it if I were you. The article was originally titled 'Cockscomb', but it was moved a few years ago and it doesn't appear as though the terminology was updated in the text. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 18:52, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice - I've made the changes. DrChrissy (talk) 19:10, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
No probs. I'd have done it myself if I'd noticed it first... --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 19:53, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Comb size and egg production[edit]

I have tried to find the original article claiming a correlation between comb size and egg production, but without success. I have therefore changed the sentence to indicate the cited article is not the primary source. It concerns me that the cited article is in a section entiled 'Tales of the wierd'!__DrChrissy (talk) 18:11, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

The secondary report describing this relation between comb size and egg production states - “The hen with the largest comb gets a bigger dose of sperm — and thus more chicks.” This seems scientifically flawed - how can the amount of sperm deposited in avian species influence the number of eggs laid? I have deleted the sentence until a more reliable source can be found.__DrChrissy (talk) 18:43, 18 October 2012 (UTC)


The article should explain why birds have combs. That is why I consulted the article Cock, as well as this one. — O'Dea (talk) 19:31, 15 December 2013 (UTC)