What is a comb and wattle?

What is a comb and wattle on an animal?

At the very top of a chicken’s head is a fleshy red area called the comb. Both male and female chickens have combs, but males have larger combs. Sometimes it is called a cockscomb.

Gallinaceous birds have combs on their head. Gallinaceous birds include turkeys, pheasants, and chickens.

Different breeds of chickens and different species of birds have different shaped combs. The comb may be floppy, upright, double, shaped like horns, or crumpled and close to the head.

Chicken

Chicken with red comb and red wattles

The comb helps to cool the bird. Blood circulates through the comb’s large surface area to release heat. The comb also has some sex appeal for some birds.

Under the beak of birds are two fleshy lobes of skin, one on each side. These are called the wattles.

Wattles are often an ornament for courting.

Birds with wattles include cassowaries, turkeys, chickens, and some vultures.

Combs and wattles are usually red, but they can be blue, maroon, black, or other colors.

Chicken

Swinhoe’s Pheasant with red comb and red wattles

 

 

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

Leave a Reply