These birds have fleshy ornaments as long as their bodies
Many male birds sport extra skin and flaps to woo females.
Many birds have fleshy ornaments on and around their faces that make Lady Gaga’s wardrobe seem demure.
Extra flesh and wattles seem to be more common among primitive lineages of birds, including galliformes—a group of heavy-bodied birds such as wild turkeys—and ratites, which includes huge species such as ostriches and cassowaries, says Bob Mulvihill, an ornithologist at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.
It may be that these ornaments are vestiges of their dinosaur predecessors, Mulvihill says.
Indeed, in 2014, researchers reported a duck-billed dinosaur found in Alberta, Canada, had preserved soft tissue on its head—a cockscomb.
“It showed us that many dinosaurs probably had colorful, fleshy display structures like wattles and combs,” says study co-author