Compared with vertebrates of equal size, birds have much thinner skin, because their skin produces feathers. Feathers are a unique characteristic of birds and are made up of keratin. Keratin is a protein that makes up the hair and fingernails of other mammals. Birds actually have thick epidermal scales like reptiles the cover their areas of exposed skin, like legs and feet. Bird’s unique skin allows them to live in most habitats around the world. Feathers have evolved specially so birds can exist in a variety of environments.
Many birds do have the thinnest skin. Surprisingly, they keep themselves very warm, in a wide variety of winter birds they have a superb adaptions that allow them to survive even in the most frigid conditions, and birders who understand what birds need to keep warm can easily help their feathered friends. Birds are warm blood, have a higher metabolism and higher body temperatures, than humans. No matter how thin their skin is, they always manage to keep themselves warm.
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