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Feather Biology

An interview with biologist Kevin McGraw. Dr. Biology and his co-host Brian Varela learn a lot about feathers and all the ways birds used them. After listening to this episode be sure to take a look at the companion article and cool gallery.

Content Info | Transcript


MP3 download | 15MB

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Topic Time
Intro - 00:00
Why do birds have hallow bones? [Brian] 01:52
Why do some feathers have different colored sides? [Brian] 02:37
Things are not always colorful for reasons of site. [why are carrots orange?] 04:40
Why you should eat carrots. 05:06
Does weather have an affect on the color of feathers? [Brian] 05:48
Gloger's Rule 06:38
Description of feathers on a Golden Pheasant skin. 07:15
Shape and functions of feathers. [Dr. Biology] 08:43
Penguins - do they have feathers? [Brian] 10:52
Do the shapes of penguin feathers help them slide? [Brian] 12:08
Why are penguins black and white? 13:18
Is it a problem being black and white when you live on white snow and ice? 15:02
How many different functions do feathers have? [Dr. Biology] 16:13
What would happen if you moved an Arizona bird to New York? [Brian] 18:08
What is the longest feather ever measured? [Dr. Biology] 20:01
What is the smallest feather in the world? [Dr. Biology] 20:55
How did feathers evolve and from what? 21:39
Why do bats have skin instead of feathers? [Brian] 23:25
Do bats have hollow bones? [Dr. Biology] 24:53
Why don't bats fly in a straight line? [Brian] 25:19
Kevin - what are some of your favorite feather functions? [Dr. Biology] 26:50
Sign-off [Companion Feather-Biology Article] 28:13

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Feather Biology

Audio editor: Charles Kazilek

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Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.