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  ― 290 ―

Feather of the Cassowary

The feathers of the New Holland Cassowary are of a remarkable construction; and may, perhaps, be more easily delineated than described. The specimen is figured of the exact size, and consists of two long slender shafts, extremely flaccid, issuing from one small quill. The feather at the base of each shaft is closely set, soft, and flossy, widening and growing harder gradually to the tip, resembling the texture of a dried plant.

The colour brownish-ash, whitening towards the quill.

It seems incapable of resisting water, or of holding air. This circumstance in the feather, added to the great pliability of the shaft, is a most admirable provision for a bird whose safety is entrusted solely to its feet.

Colour plate facing page 290 of 'A. Fish Hooks of New South Wales' and 'B. A Feather of the Cassowary'



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