DEE BREGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DEE BREGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Feather. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the structure of a goose down feather. The flat, broad vane of a feather is formed from comb-like rows of filaments called barbs, which project from either side of a central shaft (rachis, diagonally from bottom left to top right). Each barb has rows of minute filaments called barbules (orange). Goose down is the insulating layer of feathers close to the skin that helps to keep a goose warm and dry. Feathers are made from the protein keratin. Magnification: x1140 when printed 10cm wide.
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