Posts from the ‘Thick Coat’ Category

Why do birds have feathers?

Birds have something that no other animal has—a covering of feathers.  These feathers help birds to fly and also keep them warm.  Birds have two main kinds of feathers:  “contour” and “down”.

The large, outer feather that cover the wings, body and tail of a bird are

Bird

called “contour” feathers.  These feathers streamline the body and help the bird fly smoothly through the air.

“Down” feathers are the soft, fluffy feathers found under the outer feathers.  Down feathers provide warmth.

Waterbirds have extra-thick coats of down.  That is why the ducks we see in the wintertime padding about in icy water are not cold.

The entire covering of feathers is called the “plumage.”

Feathers wear out, just as clothes do, and need to be replaced.

Birds lose an their feathers at least once a year and replace them with new ones.  This change of feathers is a process called “molting”.  – Dick Rogers

What are fur seals?

Fur Seal

Everyone recognizes a seal as a sleek sea animal with webbed, paddle-like limbs called flippers.

Fur seals are seals that have thick coats of silky fur, such as the northern fur seal.  Northern fur seals are big.

A large bull (male) may be six feet long and weigh 500 pounds or more.

Like most kinds of seals, fur seals live in the ocean.   Seal makes its home mostly on the small islands in the Bering Sea.

In autumn the seals leave these islands and swim south, almost to the northern border of Mexico, and then return the following spring.

During the entire 5,000-mile round trip, the seals never come ashore unless injured or sick.

At one time so many fur seals were killed for their valuable fur that there was danger none would be left.  Today, the number of seals has increased because of careful management of seal hunting. – Dick Rogers