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Re:leg feathers



Pat said:
>may I cite the ptarmigan, which is feathered right down to
>its cute little toe-claws (but probably not on the bottoms of the
>toes--don't know for sure).

Jeff asked:
>>Does it have scales underneath the feathers on its lower legs?

    The lovable Scots chop off the lovely little feet of the ptarmigen
and other grouses with fluffy feet and wear the fluffy little feet in
their funny little scot's hats. (they do some wierd things wit deer
feet, too) 
  Mine (a white grouse foot) has downy feathers on the bottom of it's
foot to just under the toeclaw (by about a couple a mm's), where it
looks like a dehydrated pad, not scaled.  The feathers are obviously
trimmed down to a flat surface on the bottom of the foot-probably to
make it easier to pin the foot on to a hat, blouse, or kilt without
wobbling.  The side surface of the foot is MIGHTLY feathered. I see no
scales under the feathers on the sides of the toes, but it's darned
difficult without damaging the pin, so I've only sampled one area. The
real feather-feathers (flatter, with an obvious center their tips
snipped off by whoever trimmed the feathers on the bottom.  
   (Remember this bird was one that wandered around on snow in life, so
the feathers were for insulation AND support over snow like a
snow-shoe.)
  I must add the silver deer's head which is formed over where the
bird's leg would have continued is romanticly tarnished, and the
amethyst set in the end is probably fake.


 -Betty Cunningham