Sep 24 2010

Anatomy: Comb

Published by at 7:09 am under Bird Anatomy

As promised the tall rooster from last week is back again, this time facing the other direction.

Today he has a blue arrow indicating his comb.

Many birds have feathery crests but the heads of gallinaceous birds (turkeys, chickens, etc.) are adorned with a fleshy growth called a comb or cockscomb because the growth is larger on males (cocks) than on females.

The comb on this rooster is quite impressive and helps him stay in charge of the flock.  Power and sex is what wattles and combs are all about.


Would you willingly annoy a rooster with comb like that?

"Not I," said the little red hen.

(photo by Ron Proctor on Wikimedia Commons.  Click on the image to see the original and its attribution.)

One response so far

One Response to “Anatomy: Comb”

  1. Bird Feederson 26 Sep 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Great post! A rooster’s comb is a fascinating example of “a badge of status”, an anatomical or morphological feature that an animals uses to convey a certain trait, generally one of dominance and/or fitness. Such types of features are not only found in birds, but also reptiles, mammals, and even insects (some types of wasps have certain color patterns that communicate a message similar to the cock’s comb).

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