Porcupine quill

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Macro_Cosmos
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Porcupine quill

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Vintage British slide. How do people collect these quills? Go around and harass some innocent porcupine... and pluck it out of oneself? Or maybe an innocent pet got a spike-ful?
Don't google the title if you aren't prepared to see some very uncomfortable images. (people and pets covered with porcupine quills, looks painful as)

Image

10x objective mag, DIC, 9-image-stich panorama. More info and bigger here: https://flic.kr/p/2jZFm1b
Last edited by Macro_Cosmos on Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pau
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Re: Porcupine quill

Post by Pau »

Interesting structure, it's awesome how many different things can be made with just keratin.

Are the colors only due to polarized light or is it a stained slide?. Nice picture in any case!

Porcupine quills are a normal souvenir for tourists coming from some African countries, I have few ones after a trip to Tanzania, imagine what Victorian hunters could had bring back to Britain
Pau

Macro_Cosmos
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Re: Porcupine quill

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Pau wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:18 am
Interesting structure, it's awesome how many different things can be made with just keratin.

Are the colors only due to polarized light or is it a stained slide?. Nice picture in any case!

Porcupine quills are a normal souvenir for tourists coming from some African countries, I have few ones after a trip to Tanzania, imagine what Victorian hunters could had bring back to Britain
The colours are due to crossed polars. It's orange/yellowish in brightfield. Not sure what mountant was used, probably Canadian Balsam. I tried XPL vs DIC, DIC yielded a little more "observable dimensionality", if that makes sense. However the difference is so minor it might as well not exist.
I did see some porcupine quills listed on ebay, some are massive... imagine making one of those creatures upset. I wonder how they made the slide. Probably cut a thin section then sand it down? Crafty people.

Peter M. Macdonald
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Re: Porcupine quill

Post by Peter M. Macdonald »

My wife and I visited a small zoo on the Spanish island of Menorca some years ago. They had a pair of porcupine. In their enclosure were quite a few loose quills. Sadly, there was no keeper about, or I would have asked him for a few.

It seems that a porcupine quite regularly sheds quills, without any trauma.

Lou Jost
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Re: Porcupine quill

Post by Lou Jost »

I am puzzled, the scale seems way off if this is the cross section of a porcupine quill. It would appear from your magnification of 100x that this quill is about the diameter of a large diatom. Yet quills are much thicker than that. What is going on?

rjlittlefield
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Re: Porcupine quill

Post by rjlittlefield »

Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:26 am
100x objective mag, DIC. More info and bigger here: https://flic.kr/p/2jZFm1b
Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:49 pm
I am puzzled, the scale seems way off if this is the cross section of a porcupine quill.
Looks like a typo. The Flickr posting says 10X objective, 9 images stitched.

--Rik

Macro_Cosmos
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Re: Porcupine quill

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

rjlittlefield wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:22 pm
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:26 am
100x objective mag, DIC. More info and bigger here: https://flic.kr/p/2jZFm1b
Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:49 pm
I am puzzled, the scale seems way off if this is the cross section of a porcupine quill.
Looks like a typo. The Flickr posting says 10X objective, 9 images stitched.

--Rik
Silly me! Yeah it's a massive typo, 10 times off for the matter. I've been mainly using my 100x for DIC. Fixed the top post!
10x, 9 images stitched, single frame.

Lou Jost
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Re: Porcupine quill

Post by Lou Jost »

That's much better!

micro_pix
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Re: Porcupine quill

Post by micro_pix »

Nicely done! I have a few porcupine quills collected on a walk in a wooded area near the small town of Underberg in South Africa, I never saw the porcupine though. I going to have to slice one up now.

Dave

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