Porcupine quill, light micrograph

Porcupine quill, light micrograph

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Caption: Polarised light micrograph of cross section of porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) quill. These quills, like hair and horns, are made of keratin. The quills are not hollow, but have a honeycomb structure. Porcupines produce a pungent warning odour when their quills are erected. Quills also contain a fluorescent material that brightens the quills at night, when the porcupine is most likely to meet predators. Magnification: x40 at 10cm wide.

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Keywords: anatomical, anatomy, biological, biology, cross section, erethizon, erethizon dorsatum, fauna, fluorescent, keratin, microscope, microscopic, microscopy, nature, polarised light micrograph, polarized, porcupine, predator, quill, zoology

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