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Please pardon my perhaps ignorant question on this one but isn't it true
that the leg, head and body feathers of a bird contribute nothing to it's
Granted without the feathers on the wings birds couldn't fly. This is in
their current configuration as we know feathers are not a requirement of
flight (bats, for example).
But I don't see where body feathers are at all relevant to flight so they
must have a different purpose. The most likely being thermoregulation as
far as I can see it.
It then seems to me that the question is did the body feathers come first
or did the wing feathers come first. I may not be presenting this too
well, but doesn't this make some sense?