DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Parrot feathers from a South American indian's head-dress. A feather consists of a central axis or rachis, continuous with the hollow quill attached to the bird's body. The rachis bears the flat vane of the feather which is made up of many slender barbs bearing barbules along each side. The barbules of adjacent barbs interlock to form a continuous surface.
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