Tawny owl feather detail, SEM

Tawny owl (Strix aluco) feather detail, scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Owls have the benefit of silent flight due to the filamentous extensions of their anterior barbules on their feathers. Most other birds including raptors do not have this feather structure. This gives the owl an added advantage when swooping on its unsuspecting prey. Magnification x161 at 10cm wide

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