It is not clear why the bumps on a person's skin when cold were named "goose" bumps, pimples or flesh in English as well as other languages like German, Russian, Italian and Greek. Other languages, replace the "goose" with other kinds of poultry. For instance, "hen" is used in Spanish and French and "Chicken" is used in Dutch, Chinese, and Afrikaans. The equivalent Japanese term translates literally as "bird skin", while in Hebrew it is called "duck skin".
Goose bumps appear on many mammals when they are cold or afraid. Bumps
appear at the base of the body hair making it stand up straight. The
medical term for goose bumps on a person is cutis anserine. The reflex of producing goose bumps is known as horripilation, piloerection, or the pilomotor reflex.
name common name probably came from the similar appearance to a goose
after all of its feathers have been plucked. The term "goose bumps" is
misleading because the bumps on a goose’s skin do not qualify as
piloerection, though birds do have the same reflex of extending their
feathers out to keep warm.
In the winter birds can also grow
twice as many feathers. The outer feathers protect them from wet weather
and wind. The downy feathers underneath are fluffed up to trap air
creating a natural layer of insulation. They can also scrunch down to
cover their feet or pull a leg up close to the body and sleep with their
bills under their wing feathers to breathe in warmer air.
warm requires a lot of energy, even for the most insulated bird. That’s
why they look for high-energy food especially right before they turn in
for the night and when they break fast in the morning.
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