Hedgehog spines, SEM

Hedgehog spines, SEM

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hedgehog spines. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of spines on a European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus). A spine is a modified hair made from the protein keratin. The interior (not seen) is hollow and crossed with transverse septa, making the spine strong but light. Adult hedgehogs have about 8000 spines, which are used to protect against predators. Magnification: x15 when printed at 10 centimetres tall.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, broken, close-up, colored, coloured, cut, detail, erinaceus europaeus, european hedgehog, false-colour, false-coloured, fauna, hairs, keratin, mammal, modified hair, nature, protection, protective, protein, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, section, sectioned, sem, septum, spine, spines, spiny, strong, transverse septa, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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