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uropygial gland

noun, Ornithology
1.
a gland opening on the back at the base of the tail in most birds that secretes an oily fluid used by the bird in preening its feathers.
Also called oil gland, preen gland.
Origin
1865-1870
1865-70
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for uropygial gland
  • Research in those days centered on bird migration, physiological ecology, and anatomy of the avian uropygial gland.
  • Dippers have a relatively large uropygial gland or preen gland to maintain waterproof feathers.
British Dictionary definitions for uropygial gland

uropygial gland

noun
1.
a gland, situated at the base of the tail in most birds, that secretes oil used in preening
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for uropygial gland

preen gland

in birds, an organ located on the back near the base of the tail. Paired or in two united halves, it is found in most birds. Absent in ostrich, emu, cassowary, bustard, frogmouth, and a few other birds, the oil gland is best-developed in aquatic species, notably petrels and pelicans, and in the osprey and oilbird.

Learn more about preen gland with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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