Porcupine quill, SEM

Porcupine quill, SEM

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Caption: Porcupine quill. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the tip of a quill from a porcupine. The surface of the quill is covered in backward pointing barbs, which firmly anchor it in the flesh or skin of any person or animal to come into contact with it. This is an effective defensive mechanism for the porcupine. Magnification x125 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

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Keywords: animal, barb, barbed, biological, biology, coloured, defence mechanism, defensive, false-coloured, fauna, mammal, microscopy, nature, porcupine, protective, quill, rodent, rodentia, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, sems, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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