Figure 2: | Scientific Reports

Figure 2

From: The Topobiology of Chemical Elements in Seabird Feathers

Figure 2

Models of pattern formation in feathers. (A) The observed Zn pattern formation (~30 regularly spaced deposits of Zn) may be the result of a pre-existing heterogeneity amongst feather stem cells with differential Zn uptake giving rise to a mosaic with a subsequent Zn pattern formation. (B) The absence of any ultrastructural differences (see Fig. 3) gives rise to a speculative, alternative explanation: The number of alternate lines of high and low Zn (~30) approximates the estimated overall period of growth, i.e. ~30 days. The Zn pattern formation might thus reflect diurnal oscillation in systemic Zn levels.