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Feather barbs, SEM

Feather barbs, SEM

P740/0100

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Credit

DR PHILIPPA UWINS, WHISTLER RESEARCH PTY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR PHILIPPA UWINS, WHISTLER RESEARCH PTY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Feather barbs, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). A feather is formed by rows of barbs (white, two partially seen here), which project from either side of a central shaft (rachis, not seen). Each barb has rows of minute filaments called barbules (pink and purple). The barbules on one side bear hooks, while those on the other have a groove, hooking adjacent barbs together (hooking area can be seen down centre). This makes the feather strong, yet flexible and light, which is ideal for flight.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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