Scale (zoology)

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For other uses of the word "scale" see scale (disambiguation)
Snakes have scales
Woman removing scales from a fish in South Africa.

In zoology (the study of animals), a scale is a small, hard plate that grows out of an animal's skin to give it protection. Fish and reptiles have scales. In animals such as butterflies and moths, scales are plates on the surface of the insect wing. They are often beautifully coloured.