Reindeer hair, SEM

Reindeer hair, SEM


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Reindeer hair. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing the structure of hairs from a reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). The reindeer coat has two layers of fur, a dense woolly undercoat (not seen) and a longer-haired overcoat consisting of hollow, air-filled hairs (shown here). This helps it to keep warm in the extreme cold of its holarctic habitat. The outside of the hair, the cuticle, is covered in overlapping scales of dead cells containing the protein keratin. Magnification: x550 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

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