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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 flight capabilities? 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).
There are necked-headed and naked-necked birds that fly (vultures, for
example), but I can't for the life of me think of any naked-body or
naked-leg flying birds. The inner thigh of many birds is naked, but the
outer is feathered in every case I can think of. (seasonal molts and
juvenile forms not-with-standing) Ron?
Perhaps the contour feathers smooth the drag over the keel/breastbone
and shoulder-joint as the rounder edges on modern sports cars help the
bow wave break easier over and around, say, the front of the Miata?
There are naked bats with NO fur whatsover, so naked-ness is not a
dis-qualifier for flight.