Fibril bundles in perforated cylindrical hair of African crested rat wick liquid by capillary action

Edit Hook

References

"[T]he hair exemplifies unique, exceptional optimization and economy of structure for sequestration and delivery of toxins. The central portion of each main shaft develops a thin but strong outer cylinder perforated by abundant vacuoles (figure 2). This perforated cylinder encloses fibrillar strands that remain mostly separate, but can adhere to each other or to the outer cylinder along short stretches. These long fibrils are numerous and cumulatively act as a 'wick'...Indeed, as the colloid is applied to the hair, one can observe an almost instantaneous flip from reflective gloss to opaque invisibility, which suggests rapid absorption" (Kingdon et al. 2011: 3)

Watch Video  (see close-up of hairs in second half)

Journal article
A poisonous surprise under the coat of the African crested ratProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological SciencesAugust 3, 2011
J. Kingdon, B. Agwanda, M. Kinnaird, T. O'Brien, C. Holland, T. Gheysens, M. Boulet-Audet, F. Vollrath

Journal article
A poisonous surprise under the coat of the African crested ratProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological SciencesAugust 3, 2011
J. Kingdon, B. Agwanda, M. Kinnaird, T. O'Brien, C. Holland, T. Gheysens, M. Boulet-Audet, F. Vollrath

Edit References