MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Downy feather, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The central shaft, or rachis runs down the centre. Rows of filaments, known as barbs, project from either side of the rachis. Along the length of each barb are smaller filaments, known as barbules. Downy feathers insulate a bird. Magnification: x30 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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