Keratin (noun, “CARE-ah-tin”)
A protein that makes up hair, nails and skin. These long, fibrous molecules protect cells from damage.
In a sentence
Keratin is the tough fiber that makes up a whale’s baleen.
Follow Eureka! Lab on Twitter
(for more about Power Words, click here)
baleen A long plate made of keratin (the same material as your fingernails or hair). Baleen whales have many plates of baleen in their mouths instead of teeth. To feed, a baleen whale swims with its mouth open, collecting plankton-filled water. Then it pushes water out with its enormous tongue. Plankton in the water become trapped in the baleen, and the whale then swallows the tiny floating animals.
keratin A protein that makes up your hair, nails and skin.