from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Zoology A small barb or pointed projection, especially one of the small projections fringing the edges of the barbs of feathers.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of the secondary barbs that form a fringe of small projections on a feather.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A very minute barb or beard.
- n. One of the processes along the edges of the barbs of a feather, by which adjacent barbs interlock. See Feather.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A small barb, as of a plant; a little beard. Also barbula.
- n. In ornithology, one of a series of pointed, barb-like processes fringing the barbs of a feather.
- n. The part of a helmet which protects the cheeks and chin.
- n. In botany, the inner row of teeth in the peristome of certain mosses.
Through a common magnifying glass each tiny barbule was seen to be ringed with gray and silvery white, so finely that the rings could hardly be seen.
Instead, if you were to slice a barbule like a loaf of bread, the resulting cross-section would be shaped like a boomerang.
But the fact that the rachis itself is made of barbule-like fibres suggests that the barbules came first.
Plus, they aren’t located throughout the barbule but are more distal, or located more toward the end of the barbule.
“It’s the size, shape, number, and pigmentation of nodes and their placement along the barbule that are key,” he patiently explained.