鸟类羽毛知识:为什么鸟类会有羽毛?说说不同类型的羽毛            
Bird Feather Facts: Why Does A Bird Have Feathers? Different Types Of Feather
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2020-01-01 18:29
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One of the things that distinguishes birds from all other types of animal is feathers. This page contains facts about bird feathers, and is part of our Bird Series.

鸟类区别于其他动物的其中一个特征便是羽毛。本文介绍了鸟类羽毛的知识,属于我们的鸟类科普系列的一部分。

Bird Feather Facts

鸟类羽毛的知识

bird feather

When out walking in the countryside, or even in the town, you’ll often see discarded bird feathers lying on the ground. Although they’re easy to overlook, these amazing structures are worthy of closer investigation.

每当你在乡村,或城镇的户外散步,时常可在路上看到掉落的羽毛。虽然很容易被忽视,但这些可爱的小东西是很值得去深入观察的。

Birds rely on their feathers not just for flight, but also for insulation, communication and many other things. On this page you’ll learn about what makes bird feathers so special …

鸟类的羽毛不仅助于飞行,还有助于保温,交流及其他作用。通过本文,你可以学到鸟类羽毛的特殊性。

Feathers

羽毛

Birds are the only living animals to have feathers. Notice that the word ‘living’ has been emphasized. That’s because another famous group of (now extinct) animals also had feathers … the dinosaurs (or at least some of them).

鸟类是现存唯一有羽毛的动物。请注意划重点:现存。因为曾经还有一个著名的种群(已灭绝)也是有羽毛的...恐龙(至少部分恐龙有羽毛)

feathered dinosaur

An artist’s impression of a feathered dinosaur

艺术家对羽毛恐龙的想象。

As you’ll know from reading our ‘what is a bird’ page, birds are descended from dinosaurs. In fact, most scientists today actually consider birds to be dinosaurs.

正如你读过 我们的“什么是鸟类” 一文所知,鸟类是恐龙的后代。实际上,现在仍有大部分的科学家认为鸟类就是恐龙。 

Feathers weren’t originally for flight

羽毛原本不是用于飞行的

Some of the dinosaur feathers that have been found are near-identical to those belonging to modern birds. This tells us that the original function of feathers was not for flight. We know this because many of the dinosaurs that had feathers were far too large and lacked the other physical adaptations necessary for flying.

一些被发现的恐龙羽毛几乎与现代鸟类的羽毛相同。这说明羽毛的原来作用不是用于飞行。因为我们发现那些有羽毛的恐龙都体型过大,且没有飞行所需的其他身体构造。

For example, dinosaurs related to Tyrannosaurus Rex had feathers, and many scientists now assume Tyrannosaurus Rex itself had feathers. Can you image T Rex flapping its tiny arms and propelling itself skywards?

例如,与霸王龙同种的一些恐龙会有羽毛。现在许多科学家假设霸王龙本身有羽毛。你能想象到雷克斯龙挥舞着它的小胳膊向天空飞去吗?

Neither can we!

我可想象不出!

T Rex

Even if T Rex had feathers, it wouldn’t have been able to fly!

即使霸王龙有羽毛,它也不会飞!

A Possible History Of Feathers

羽毛的合理发展史

Feathers must therefore have originally evolved for another reason. At first, feathers probably simply provided insulation. After that they may have adapted to help dinosaurs balance or to change direction quickly while fleeing from predators (or while chasing prey). Over the years feathers may then have undergone further adaptations to allow dinosaurs to glide from tree to tree.

因此,羽毛最初出现的一定是有另一个原因。起初,羽毛可能只是起到了隔热作用。之后,它们可能已经进化到帮助恐龙维持身体平衡或快速变向以逃离捕食者(或追逐猎物)。

Finally, flying dinosaurs appeared. Their feathers, in combination with many other physical changes – including arms that by now had become wings – allowed them to lift themselves from the ground and power themselves through the air.

最终,会飞的恐龙出现了。它们的羽毛加上其他许多身体的变化---包括前臂变成了现在的翅膀---使得它们可以从地面升起,并为空中飞行提供了动力

如果你喜欢恐龙,可以查阅我们精彩的恐龙篇章。

A Modern Bird’s Feathers

现代鸟类羽毛

peacock displaying

A male peacock displaying his magnificent tail feathers. They’re not designed with flight in mind!

一只雄性孔雀在展示它华丽的尾羽。孔雀羽毛的进化可无关飞行!

As well as being necessary for flight, a modern bird’s feathers have many other uses. Below is a list of the many benefits of having feathers.

现代鸟类的羽毛不仅仅满足飞行所需,还有许多其他用途。下面列出啦羽毛的用途。

What Are Feathers For?

羽毛有什么作用呢?

Temperature regulation. A bird’s feathers play an important part in keeping its body at the right temperature. When feathers first appeared on dinosaurs, it’s likely that this was their primary function.

恒温。鸟羽在保持身体在合适温度上起着重要的作用。首次出现在恐龙身上的羽毛,很可能便是这主要功能。

Protection. Feathers protect the bird’s body from scrapes and bumps.

保护。羽毛保护鸟类身体免受刮擦或碰撞伤害

Waterproofing. A bird’s skin is almost entirely covered with feathers. Not only do feathers help to keep the bird warm, but they also provide water-proofing.

防水。鸟类的皮肤几乎完全覆盖着羽毛。羽毛不仅有助于保暖,还能防水。

Communication & Display. Bird feathers are used in communication and display. Think of a male peacock’s magnificent tail. This shows a female peacock how fit and healthy he is. The males of many bird species use their colorful plumage to attract mates.

交流与展示。鸟类羽毛还用于交流与展示。回想一下雄性孔雀那把华丽的尾羽。它像雌性孔雀展示了自己是多么健康与强壮。许多雄性鸟类通过多彩的羽毛来吸引配偶。

Camouflage. The plumage of many birds provides excellent camouflage. Both predators and prey need to remain hidden – for different reasons!

伪装。许多鸟类的羽毛起到了极好的伪装作用。捕食者和猎物都需要隐藏起来-出于不同的原因!

Sensory input. A special type of feather, called a filoplume, collects information such as how wind is moving over a bird’s body. Some birds, such as nightjars, have bristle-like feathers around their mouths which may help them to capture insect prey.

感官输入。有一种特殊的羽毛,称为毛羽,通过例如风吹过的身体的感受以搜集信息。有些鸟,如夜莺,嘴上长着刚硬的羽毛,可以帮助它们捕捉昆虫猎物。

Nesting Material. Some birds pluck their feathers and use them to insulate their nests. An example of a bird that does this is the eider, a large duck. The eider’s soft feathers are known as eiderdown, and are used by humans to make bedding and other products

筑巢材料。有些鸟会拔下自己的羽毛来做鸟巢的保温材料。比如绒鸭,一种大型鸭子。绒鸭柔软的羽毛被称作鸭绒,可用来制作床上用品被或其他物品。

eider duck

The female eider duck lines her nest with her own feathers.

一只雌性绒鸭躺在自己羽毛做成的鸟巢里。

What Are Bird Feathers Made Of?

鸟类羽毛用什么做的?

Feathers are made of keratin, the same material out of which a reptile’s scales and claws are made.

羽毛与爬行动物的鳞片和爪子一样,都是由角质蛋白形成的。

The Different Types Of Bird Feather

不同类型的鸟羽。

contour feathers

Contour feathers make the ‘shape’ of a bird.

廓羽形成鸟的“形状”。

Birds have many different types of feather, but they’re all either one of two main types: contour feathers and down feathers.

鸟类有许多不同类型的羽毛,主要归结为两种主要类型:廓羽绒羽

  • Contour feathers are rigid and form the ‘shape’ of the bird. A bird’s body, tail and wing feathers are all contour feathers.
  • Down feathers grow under the contour feathers. They are soft and fluffy. Down feathers provide insulation. For water birds, they also provide buoyancy.

廓羽是刚毛,塑成了鸟类的形状。鸟类的身体,尾巴和翅膀的羽毛都是廓羽。

绒羽长在廓羽下面。它们柔软蓬松。绒羽可起到保温作用,水鸟的绒羽还起到浮力作用。

The scientific name for the central shaft of a feather is the ‘rachis’. The hair-like projections either side of the rachis are called barbs.

羽毛中轴的学名是“羽轴”。轴的两侧的毛发状突起被称为羽枝

The barbs of a contour feather are held in place with interlocking hooks, a bit like Velcro. This keeps the contour feather stiff, and ensures that it won’t lose its shape when the bird is flying.

羽枝间通过倒钩互锁固定,有点像尼龙搭扣。这使廓羽保持着刚硬固定,确保鸟类飞行时羽毛不会变形。

feather barbs

Some of this feather’s barbs have become unlocked.

这根羽毛羽枝间的一些倒钩已经解开了。

When a bird preens its contour feathers with its beak, it is not only cleaning them. It is also locking the hooks back into place.

当一只鸟用它的喙整理廓羽时,不仅仅是清洁羽毛,还是将钩子锁回原位。

The barb of a bird’s down feathers aren’t locked together. This is why down feathers are soft.

绒羽的羽枝并没有互锁,因此绒羽很柔软。

Feather Names

羽毛名称。

Steller's Sea Eagle

An eagle’s primary feathers look like ‘fingers’.

鹰的主要羽毛看起来像“手指”。

The long, stiff feathers on the tip and trailing edge of a bird’s wing, and on its tail, are known as flight feathers

翅膀尖和后缘,尾巴上的又长又硬的羽毛称为飞羽。用于提供升力与飞行的动力。

There are two types of flight feather on a bird’s wing: primaries and secondaries. The primaries are connected to the ‘hand’ part of the bird’s wing. The secondaries are connected to the inner part of each wing. Collectively, the primaries and secondaries are known as the remiges.

鸟翅上有两种飞行羽毛:初级羽毛和次级羽毛。初级主要在鸟翼“手部”的位置, 次级长在鸟翼靠里面的位置。初级与次级羽毛都属于飞羽。

Covering the flight feathers at the front of the wings and tail are shorter feathers called coverts.

而在鸟翼前部及尾巴上,并覆盖在飞羽上稍短的羽毛则称为复羽

A bird’s tail feathers are known as retrices.

鸟类尾巴上的羽毛称为尾羽

Some birds have crests – longer feathers that stick out above or behind the back of the head. Some birds can raise or lower their crests as a form of communication.

有些鸟有羽冠-较长的羽毛伸出头顶或头背。有些鸟可以通过提起或降下它们的羽冠来进行交流。

Preening & Bathing

整理与洗澡

Pelican having a bird bath

Bathing helps prevent the build up of fungus and bacteria.

洗澡有助于防止真菌与细菌的积累。

As we’ve found, a bird’s feathers are incredibly important to its survival. Birds spend a lot of time looking after their feathers, making sure that they’re in tip-top condition.

如我们所发现的,鸟类羽毛对它们的生存至关重要。鸟类花很多时间照顾它们的羽毛,确保一直在最佳状态。

Birds have a special area on their backs (just above their tails) called a preen gland. This produces an oily substance that protects the feathers from bacteria and fungus, and also keeps feathers waterproof.

鸟类的背部(尾部正上方)有一个特殊部位,叫尾脂腺。它能分泌一种油性物质,保护羽毛不受细菌和真菌的侵害,并能使羽毛防水。

Birds bathe themselves in water and dust and even use swarming ants to clean their feathers. It is thought that all of these activities help to remove parasites from the all-important flight feathers.

鸟类在水和灰尘中洗澡,甚至利用成群的蚂蚁来清洁它们的羽毛。据认为这些行为是为了清除主要飞羽上的寄生虫。

Molting (Moulting in British English)

换羽(英式英语拼法是moulting)

Atlantic puffin

Atlantic puffins are unable to fly while molting.

大西洋海雀在换羽期间是无法飞行的。

Imagine putting on a new coat in the morning then spending the day jumping through hedges, climbing rocky cliffs, hunting for animals to eat, escaping from animals that want to eat you, and building a house out of branches that weigh almost as much as you. Now imagine what your new coat would look like in the evening!

想象一下,早上穿上一件新外套,然后开始一天的活动:跳过树篱,爬上岩石悬崖,追寻猎物,躲避想吃你的动物,用几乎和自身一样重的树枝建造一座房子。现在想象一下到晚上你的新外套会是什么样子!

A bird’s feathers have to put up with this kind of abuse on a daily basis. Over time they inevitably become worn or damaged. For this reason a bird’s feathers are completely replaced at least once a year. This process is called a molt (or moult in British English).

一只鸟的羽毛必须经受住这种日常折腾。随着时间的推移,它们不可避免地会老旧或磨损。因此,一只鸟每年至少需要更换全身羽毛一次。这过程称作换羽(英式拼法moult)。

Feathers emerge from holes in the bird’s skin called follicles. During a molt, the new feathers simply push the old feathers out of the existing follicle.

羽毛从鸟皮上叫做毛囊的洞里钻出来。在换羽过程,新毛直接把旧毛从毛囊中挤掉。

How and when a bird molts depends on the lifestyle of that species. While molting a bird may lose some of its speed or mobility. To reduce the negative effect of a molt, the feathers of most birds are replaced in sequence. For example, a bird’s tail feathers are replaced from the center outwards.

如何以及何时换羽取决于不同鸟类的生活方式。换羽可能会降低鸟类的飞行与移动速度。为了减少负面影响,大多数鸟类的羽毛按顺序替换。例如,鸟的尾羽是从中心向外更换。

Some birds – puffins, for example – are left entirely flightless while molting. During this time they are restricted to swimming on the sea, counting the days until they are once again able to take to the skies.

而有一些鸟类---如海雀---换羽过程则无法飞行。在这段时间里,他们被只能在海上游泳,数着日子,直到他们再次能够飞上天空。

In many species, molting is not only about replacing worn feathers, but also about changing the bird’s appearance. The males of many bird species molt to reveal a colorful breeding plumage, which is entirely different to their winter plumage.

在许多鸟类种别中,换羽不仅是为了更换磨损的羽毛,也是为了改变它的外观。许多雄鸟换羽后呈现出一身丰富多彩的繁殖羽毛,与它们的冬季羽毛完全不同。

Bird Feather Facts: Conclusion

鸟类羽毛知识:总结

We hope that this page has opened your eyes to the importance of feathers, their origins, and their many uses. The next time you see a bird preening itself you’ll know that it’s not vanity that drives a bird to look after its plumage; it’s more a matter of life or death!

我们希望这篇文章能让你认识到鸟类羽毛的重要性,它们的起源,以及许多用途。下回看到一只鸟在整理羽毛时,你就知道它们的行为并非虚荣心所致;这更多是关乎生死。

More bird information at Active Wild:

你可在“生机勃勃的野生世界”版面寻找更多鸟类知识

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