Scientists have published their explanation for why some large species of bird, like the Lammergeier, have a silvery sheen in their wings. The scientists, led by Dr. Ismael Galvan of the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, had suspected that there was a difference in how the feathers were put together rather than a difference in pigment, and, sure enough, major differences in the barbules of the feather were found (barbules grow from the barbs, which grow from the shaft of the feather, the rachis, and barbules link together with each other and pretty much make a feather a feather). The differences in the barbules are described here.
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