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Quiz - Question 04 Answer

Question 04: What makes feathers so resilient?

Answer 04: Their overall structure

From an engineering viewpoint, feathers are magnificent, being both strong and flexible, and light enough to permit flight. Two broad vanes extend to either side of the feather's stiff central shaft. The vanes are made up of a series of parallel branches called barbs. At right angles to the barbs, and in the same plane, are branchlets called barbules. By hooking together, somewhat like a series of tiny strips of Velcro, the barbules hold the vane intact, forming a smooth, continuous surface. Barbs can also slide relative to one another, contributing to the feather's extraordinary flexibility.

 


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