SCIMAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIMAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hen's feather under a dissecting microscope. Feathers, composed of the protein keratin, cover the bodies of birds and provide heat insulation and streamlined shape. A feather consists of the quill (embedded in the skin) and the shaft (rachis) of the feather (running diagonally in this image), which carries the ''barbs''.
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