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August 18, 2005

Otter Adaptations:
How Do Otters Remain Sleek and Warm

Or, What One Cell Biologist Does Away From the Bench

Scanning electron micrographs of cuticle patterns of river otter underhairs. A-F: Increasingly higher magnification showing the fins, petal-like projections, and grooves on the hairs.

Credit: John W. Weisel, Chandrasekaran Nagaswami, Rolf O. Peterson, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Michigan Technological University; NRC Research Press

Polarizing light micrographs of river otter underhairs. A-G: Increasingly higher magnification showing how hairs interlock.

Credit: John W. Weisel, Chandrasekaran Nagaswami, Rolf O. Peterson, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; NRC Research Press

Polarizing light micrographs of river otter underhairs, with air bubbles along the length of most hairs (A-I).

Credit: John W. Weisel, Chandrasekaran Nagaswami, Rolf O. Peterson, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Michigan Technological University; NRC Research Press

Schematics of the most common form of packing of river otter underhairs, showing how hairs interlock. A: Individual hair. B: Two adjacent hairs. C: Two hairs with fins fitting into grooves. D: Top view of two hairs. E: Cross section of underhair packing.

Credit: John W. Weisel, Chandrasekaran Nagaswami, Rolf O. Peterson, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Michigan Technological University; NRC Research Press

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