Birds have extremely thin epidermis, also known as skin, for several reasons. One of which is that in order for a bird to fly it needs to be light-weight. Their elastic and light skin allows them to not be encumbered by lots of unnecessary weight, like say the heavy scales of a reptile. Their skin is also thin enough to allow them a lot of flexibility and a great range of moment, also key in flight. Their skin produces keratin (same material our hair and fingernails are formed out of) in order to produce the feathers that adorn their often lovely coats of skin.
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