The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Avian tail feathers



Quick facts

Project title: 
Number, form and function of avian tail feathers
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 


In this project, we study the number, form and function of the tail feathers (rectrices) of all 250 bird families. The combination of these characteristics influences the appearance and function of the entire bird's tail, which serves a number of purposes: for example, it plays an important role in flying, swimming and climbing, and is also of great importance for courtship and communication. The data collected in the project will be used to analyse differences and similarities between the different groups of birds from an evolutionary perspective.


Contact person

Former BA student
zuschauerservice [at]