Seen on leaf in North Texas, USA in April 2017. Critter will attach itself to any object put next to it.

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    $\begingroup$ Could it be a feather? What made you think it's an animal? $\endgroup$ – Oosaka Apr 24 '17 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ Can you see any features that appear animal in nature? Eg. Head, eyes, antennae, mouthparts. Could you describe them if yes? $\endgroup$ – hamilthj Apr 24 '17 at 18:20

It is a specialized feather called "down" (like in down pillows, etc.)

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Down feathers have a rachis that is shorter than their longest barb. They are completely plumulaceous and have a fluffy appearance, which results from filamentous, noninterlocking barbules.

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Anatomy, Clinical Presentation, and Diagnostic Approach to Feather-Picking Pet Birds

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  • $\begingroup$ Great diagram presentation $\endgroup$ – Always Confused May 9 '17 at 19:56

This indeed simply looks like a feather.


Source: Pattaya Daze

Many predators, particularly hawks and other birds of prey, will typically pull these whimsical down feathers off of their prey before eating.

hawk stares after meal

Source: Kruger Sightings

Source: Tom Strong Reviews

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    $\begingroup$ Wow wonderful gif animation. $\endgroup$ – Always Confused May 9 '17 at 19:55

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