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Re: Feathers as fossilized behaviour (was:Re: Function Talksat Ostrom Symposium)

water birds don't have oil oozing at every feather-they have specific
glands in specific locations.  You can watch a duck rub it's head on the
oil gland on it's back and then wipe it on an area it is preening. 
Preening gets the oil TO the feathers that need it.  (Not all ducks HAVE
oil glands-the muscovy duck becomes water-logged if it swims longer than
10 minutes, it's instincts are telling it that it is a water fowl-this
is kinda amusing to watch at the 10 minute mark..........)

-Betty Cunningham
(used to have a pet Muscovy duck when I was a tot)

Ronald Orenstein wrote:
 > If that were the case there would be no need for water birds to
preen, and
> they do (in fact, using a waterproofing oil secretion in some cases -
> getting one's feathers soggy is NOT a good idea).  Preening does not just
> "straighten out" feathers - it aligns the barbs and barbules (rather like
> doing up a zipper) and passage through the water (whether in life or death)
> would not have had that effect.  Try it yourself with a chicken feather or
> something.

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