Birds of a feather

The majestic peacock.  While it is commonly known that the male peafowl (also known as the peacock) possesses a distinctive covert of feathers, in rare circumstances, the female of the species (peahen) can adapt this trait.  In the male, the covert can be raised and fanned out, making for an impressive showing.  The purpose of this showing is to display to their potential mates their impressive genetic traits, that the female should choose to pass off onto their offspring.  The most notable feature of the plumage is the distinctive “eye” shape that appears at the end of the feathers.

As mentioned earlier, in extremely rare circumstances, the female of the species can develop this predominantly male trait.  Scientists have only observed this phenomenon in controlled settings, as the possibility of it happening in the wild is virtually non-existent.  Xusha sent in this wonderful example of a female peafowl displaying the plumage of a male.  It should be noted that the phenomenon was in a controlled setting, observed by Tony and Gael, in their lab Gevy, which is located in Paris.  Please take a moment to examine this rare beauty.

Please note this was in a controlled setting, overseen by professional scientists.  You can see more examples of experiments of this type in this BME gallery.

10 thoughts on “Birds of a feather

  1. i’m sorry, but i’m gonna point this one thing out that seems to be a bit of inexperience on the piercer’s behalf…

    instead of using shorter needles, the piercer has used really long needles (possibly upwards of 3″) …. normally, i wouldn’t take issue with that…. though, i do take issue that the piercer has bent the needle ends (especially at the top) at a sharp angle…. some even look to be almost a full 90* bend…….

    do i even need to begin to point out the stupidity in that? needle sticks, barbed/hooked needle ends that will tear on the way out, possibility of breaking the needle and the client would have to be subjected to having a needle removed that has jagged and tearing barbs formed form the broken metal?…. needle sticks being the biggest concern of that small list…

    no matter how much the client was game to do this, the piercer should know better… or, at least, hold off doing something until he/she knows how to do it….

  2. After looking at this closely i think it MAY be the ends of the plumes poking through the other end of the needles. This would explain both the length and the bends(to help prevent them from falling out of the needles). Having said that though i see two with “bends” and no plumes but perhaps they broke off and they just hadn’t removed the ends from the needles at this point.

  3. @Justin: I think you’re right with the bends actually being part of the feathers. With the way they’re situated you’d need to bend the feathers for them to stay in the needle.

  4. i’m inclined to dissagree with justin and rob on their points,
    quite a few things bring me to the conclusion of the previously stated theory being incorrect.
    specifically, the size of the needles shown and the average size of the quill of the feathers shown… the quill of the feathers shown are obviously larger than the inner diameter of the needles shown…. even if the quill were whittled down to size, there would be no structural support left for the feather…
    also, the coloration differences between the feathers and what i view to the be the bent portion of the needle…
    most of all the fact that some of needles shown that are bent would have no logical reason to have feathers placed in them, ei. the ones in the middle of her back with the hubs pointing down…

    i have had issues on play piercing projects with some of my clients that the needle ends will dig into the skin after placement when the client moves, it wouldn’t be a long leap of imagination that similar circumstances were present during that set (especially due to the length and the natural movement of the client’s shoulders)… due to those circumstances, i suppose the piercer thought it a good idea to “fix” the problem by simply bending the needles…. it’s certainly what an inexperienced or unthinking practitioner might do, rather than plan for such occurrences and use shorter length needles

  5. While I am by no means a professional, piercer or client, i have experienced rather extreme body modifications. while it does appear that a few of the needles are bent, i would argue that what i am seeing is part of the feather, ie the shaft of the feather. either way, the body is capable of intense trauma, with or without medical attention, and if she was willing to experience pain for the sheer beauty of the photograph, i give her all the more props…

  6. nice photograph, and all power to the wearer.

    cris get off the soap box its tiring now. but you know what they say about opinions, they are like arseholes, ever ones got one.

  7. I used 16 gauge needles because, it looked nicer if you really want to know. Moreover, it was in a show. and Xusha needed to move and other needles may drop (like in previous sessions).

  8. I think this is beautiful.
    And the color difference form the creamish ends of the feather and the silver needles are rather obvious.

  9. belle performance et très beau travail
    le résultat est surprenant et artistique,une photo une fois fini m’aurait paru plus approprié,
    mais j’ai pu quand meme les trouver
    un bravo au modèle ainsi qu’à gael et tony

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