from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of the feathers which form the covering of a newly-hatched bird, resembling but distinct from the down of an adult bird. Neossoptiles are distinguished by having a very short calamus; a very short rhachis, or none at all; practical absence of cilia; long slender rami; and no aftershaft, save in the emu. The term is correlative with mesoptile and teleoptile.


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  • A downy feather on most newly hatched birds, or the stage during which a newly hatched bird still has downy feathers.

    October 13, 2007