why link tag for icons?

bhomass used Ask the Experts™
I see this code sample:

<!-- Le fav and touch icons -->
    <link rel="shortcut icon" href="twitter-bootstrap-v2/docs/examples/images/favicon.ico">
    <link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="twitter-bootstrap-v2/docs/examples/images/apple-touch-icon.png">
    <link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="72x72" href="twitter-bootstrap-v2/docs/examples/images/apple-touch-icon-72x72.png">
    <link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="114x114" href="twitter-bootstrap-v2/docs/examples/images/apple-touch-icon-114x114.png">

I understand why you would use link tag for css files. what is the purpose for having these icons referenced here?
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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
"shortcut icon" 'favicon' are the little icons you see at the left end of the address bar and in your bookmarks or favorites.  I don't know what the 'apple' ones are but they are probably for the iThings.  Safari on a computer will use the 'favicon'.

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