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Analysis of Cuticular Scales on Hairs Using the Scanning Electron Microscope

Abstract

Cuticular scales on hairs have sometimes been described as providing adequate identification of mammalian species or even of individual donors. However, the analysis of photomicrographs of hair from 52 species of mammals taken with the aid of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) indicate that cuticular scales of hair are of limited taxonomic use. Preview Article: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1379911
... Most studies on mammalian hair, including bat hair, were done using plastic impressions of cuticular scales and direct observation of whole mounts using light microscopy (Mayer, 1952;Benedict, 1957;Dwyer, 1962;McFadden, 1968;Brunner and Coman, 1974;Homan and Genoways, 1978;Valente, 1983;Wallis, 1993;Oli, 1993). Bower and Curry (1983) reported that scale patterns provided some of the most diag¬ nostic characteristics for identifying hair samples, whereas Short (1978) stated that these cuticular scale patterns are only important as an accessory to other characters he considered of greater diagnostic impor¬ tance. These characters included cross-sectional fonn and medullar form, among others. ...
... These characters included cross-sectional fonn and medullar form, among others. Short (1978) also pointed out that identification to species level cannot be achieved using scale form alone, but if a variety of characters are used, identification to species is pos¬ sible. Benedict (1957) and Quay (1970) classified chiropteran hair into over hair and underhair. ...
... The advent of scanning electron microscopes (SEM) provided new technology that allowed for gieater magnification and resolution. Several studies on bat and other mammalian hair have been conducted using this technology (Homan and Genoways, 1978;Short, 1978;Hess et ah, 1985;Meyer et ah, 1995). ...
... [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20] Using a range of microscopic techniques, 21,22 the features of hair (fiber's diameter, shape and size of the scales of the cuticle, presence of medulla and its pattern [1][2][3]14 ) are recorded, although some authors have debated the diagnostic value of the cuticular pattern. 11,23,24 Microscopy has been used in forensics, [25][26][27][28][29][30] illegal trade, [31][32][33] textile research, [34][35][36][37][38] and conservation and archaeology [39][40][41][42][43][44][45] for species identification. The task is however painstaking and requires intense expertise and experience, as well as a large bank of references to train the eye to inter-and intra-species variations. ...
... Continued) Fur and hair from species commonly encountered in forensics, archaeology or that have commercial value have been described in detail for microscopic identification, including species from the cervidae, mustelidae, canidae or ursidae families.5,7,8,10,23,[62][63][64] These species were important in the past: in addition to the commercial fur trade, the fur and skins of these animals were used and traded for indigenous clothing and elements of clothing decoration. ...
Article
Rationale: Species identification of hair is routinely done by microscopic analysis. Following previous studies that used protein analysis to characterize species markers in hair and wool, the present work aims at covering a larger number of species and to ultimately offer a method for rapid hair identification in forensics and archaeology. Methods: Hair is mostly made of alpha-keratins; these proteins have only been sequenced in a handful of species and most animal families are under-represented. Using a methodology developed for the characterization of peptidic markers in tissues such as bone (peptide mass fingerprinting or PMF) and commonly applied on collagen, hair from common North American fur-bearing species was analyzed by MALDI-TOF-MS to obtain peptidic profiles. Results: Alpha-keratin peptides that are typically dominant on peptide mass profiles of hair were chosen as markers. Matching peaks were identified for each species tested and compared to known sequences from related organisms whenever possible. The markers were used to create a flowchart to narrow down identification to the family level. Conclusions: The methodology was developed on a limited numbers of markers chosen for their variability and reliability on the peptide mass fingerprint. In the absence of genetic sequences, that strategy is a quick way to compare species from a common geographic origin. The work presented here was focused on North American species but could be applied to other animal families.
... Por último, se coloca encima el pelo durante 30 minutos y se tapa el molde final con un cubreobjetos. De esta forma, se obtiene un molde de la cutícula del pelo que permite observar el patrón de escamas, un rasgo de cierto valor taxonómico (Short, 1978). ...
... Setiap spesies satwa memiliki karakter rambut unik yang dapat digunakan untuk identifikasi, melalui telaah struktur, ukuran, bentuk, warna, dan sisik kutikula rambut. Sisik kutikula rambut memiliki bentuk dan dimensi yang berlainan yang mencirikan suatu jenis satwa tertentu (Short 1978). Untuk itu identifikasi mamalia melalui karakter rambut dapat diterapkan dalam studi forensik, taksonomi dan ekologi. ...
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Identification through animal hair character is one of a very important forensic tool given the high level of animal trade in Indonesia, one of which is the deer family (Cervidae). Indonesia has four species of Cervidae, there are Rusa timorensis (Javan deer), Rusa unicolor (Sambar deer), Muntiacus muntjak (Barking deer) and Axis kuhlii (Rusa Bawean). Until now, no information about the morphological character of Indonesian cervidae’s hair. In this study, we used 30 shaft/individual/species from Javan deer (8 individuals), Sambar deer (5 individuals), Barking deer (5 individuals) and Bawean deer (5 individual) from specimens collection of Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense (MZB) and field collections. Hairs were analyzed for macroscopic and microscopic, with several parameters of morphology, cuticular structure, medula, cross-section, and medullary index. The result showed that the special character of this family was filled lattice medulla structure and can be used for species identification.
... For mammals, species identification was performed using teeth morphometry, and mainly hair descriptions, analyzing: A) Morphological characteristics, considering the size, color and thickness of the hair, and comparing with the Wildlife Conservation Society catalog of Bolivian mammal hairs (Viscarra et al. 2010). B) Cuticle patterns, the hairs were cleaned and stamped in a thin layer of transparent nail polish onto a slide, then dried and removed with a tweezer, observed under a microscope, considering the pattern, shape and size of the cuticles (Short 1978;Chehébar and Martin 1989;Fernández and Rossi 1998;Vásquez et al. 2000;Quadros and Monteiro-Filho 2006;Zafarina and Panneerchelvan 2009). C) Core patterns, following the methodology proposed by Fernández and Rossi (1998) and Tavera (2006), with modifications and adaptations standardizing the methodology to be applied to all types of hair thickness. ...
Article
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The feeding habits of jaguar (Panthera onca) and puma (Puma concolor) were studied in the lower Tuichi, Hondo (PNANMI Madidi) and Quiquibey (RB Pilón Lajas) river valleys. A total of 122 large felid scats were collected and identified by an experienced local guide, with identifications later confirmed by morphometry. Of this total, 54 were also identified using associated tracks. For jaguar, prey species richness was 25 species considering all scats and 20 species only considering those scats associated with tracks. For puma, 28 and 22 prey species were obtained, respectively. The results indicate that there is low trophic niche overlap between both cats (0.46 and 0.44 respectively). The breadth of the trophic niche indicates that the jaguar is more specialized in its diet (0.28 and 0.42 respectively), mainly due to the high consumption of the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), which contributes significantly to jaguar prey biomass. The puma has a more generalist tendency (0.56 and 0.58 respectively), with the spotted paca (Cuniculus paca) the most frequently consumed prey and also contributing the most biomass. Despite the fact that both felines share most of their prey, jaguar and puma differ in the frequency of prey consumption.
... Os pelos, convencionalmente, são submetidos à lavagem por éter sulfúrico e álcool etílico (1:1) (Short, 1978) ou a lavagem em álcool etílico comercial puro (adaptado de Charvet & Keller, 1989), de modo que fiquem o mais limpo possível para facilitar a visualização na microscopia óptica. Porém, as análises tricológicas feitas com ambos os métodos não mostraram diferenças expressivas nos resultados, sendo igualmente positivas (Quadros 2002). ...
Article
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Trichological analysis is a relatively new branch of science, with few relevant studies, mainly in Brazil. This technique works well in the specific identification of several groups of mammals, but still with little performance in Chiroptera, being already possible to identify up to the family level, allowing the construction of identification keys. In addition, the contributions of this technique have reached several branches, such as food quality control, forensic investigations, epidemiology and others. Its methods, both for the collection, as for the preparation of the hair, are varied and, in most cases, has low cost and high efficiency. Brazil has a wide variety of bat species, but some species remain unknown due to morphological similarity of some groups, what requires the use of different taxonomic tools, and the scarcity of collections in many regions of the country. Due to the few updated studies and small number of studies on this group of mammals, this review about trichological analysis will contribute both to the existing lists of chiropterans and to identify new individuals. Keywords: tricology, mastozoology, Chiroptera, neotropical.
... Then we put each hair on the slide for 30 minutes and covered it with a cover glass. That way, we obtained a hair cuticle mould with a scale pattern showing a certain, although limited, taxonomic value (Short 1978). ...
Article
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Understanding predator-prey relationships is fundamental to develop effective conservation plans. Between 2015 and 2018, we combed 21 transects, each 7km long, searching for Iberian Lynx Lynx pardinus scat within the province of Madrid in central Spain. In order to minimise inherent subjectivity of visual identification as much as possible, we performed a double specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by a primer extension assay addressed to two Iberian Lynx diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms. Forty-six scat samples were positively identified as belonging to Iberian Lynx through genetic analysis. From these, we extracted remains of consumed prey, which we determined to the lowest possible taxonomic level, mainly through hair identification. Identified prey was divided into four types: lagomorphs, small mammals, birds, and ungulates. The species’ diet composition was described based on the frequency of occurrence (FO) of each prey and niche breadth, and also compared with prior knowledge of the species using four prior studies as a comparative reference through the calculation of the niche overlap value. The FO of lagomorphs (39%) was the lowest, while the FO of small mammals (54%) was the highest recorded to date. The niche breath (0.36) was higher than recorded in prior studies, but still showing the specialist character of the Iberian Lynx. Niche overlap was low (C = 0.49), showing differences in trophic niche between the population in our study area and the one studied in southern Spain. This indicates that the Iberian Lynx is adept at switching its main prey, an ability that has previously been firmly rejected. It is, however, capable of adapting to alternative prey more often than recorded to date, which could be a behavioural response to the patchy distribution of European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus in the study area.
... Howell (1906) claimed color markings varied relatively little among nominal races, but Van Gelder (1959) considered color markings, combined with body size, constituted the primary differences among races. Cuticular scales on guard hairs of S. gracilis are wider than long (mosaic) with crenated margins (Short 1978). ...
Research
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This represents one of several sections of "A Bibliography Related to Crime Scene Interpretation with Emphases in Geotaphonomic and Forensic Archaeological Field Techniques, Nineteenth Edition" (The complete bibliography is also included at ResearchGate.net.). This is the most recent edition of a bibliography containing resources for multiple areas of crime scene, and particularly outdoor crime scene, investigations. It replaces the prior edition and contains approximately 10,000 additional citations. As an ongoing project, additional references, as encountered, will be added to future editions. References in this section, like fingerprints, ballistics, and blood evidence, are most often thought of in traditional criminalistics or police sciences. Some of the references below date to the early days of forensics and criminalistics. This section is included because it represents one of the six areas comprising Geotaphonomy: Stratification, Tool Marks, Bioturbation, Sedimentation, Compression/Depression (foot and shoe prints), and Internal Compaction. In addition to the recovery and interpretation of impression evidence, other trace evidence which might be found on surface and subsurface death scenes are cited. Entomological and botanical evidence also constitute trace items left or taken from crime scenes. Because of the number of works referencing those topics, they are addressed in respective sections in this bibliography. Some citations in this section could also be cross-referenced with those in Taphonomy given their discussion of the detioration, or decomposition of hairs and fibers among victims' remains or contamination of impression evidence through prolonged exposure at crime scenes. When this compiler first became interested in forensic science, one of the first references he read, and which most influenced subsequent processing of scenes and research, was Crime Investigation by Paul Kirk (1974). In that paper the words of Kirk serve as the foundation for collecting trace evidence at any scene regardless its age or condition: "Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his foot prints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothing, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects. All of these and more bear mute witness against him. This evidence does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Pysical evidence cannot be wrong. It cannot perure itself. It cannot be wholly absent. Only its interpretation can err. Only human failure to fint it, study and understand it, can diminish its value."
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The study was carried out to recognize the domesticated species belonging to the family Bovidae by their specific macro-microscopic features of dorsal guard hair characteristics. Nowadays the domesticated animals played a vital role in the dairy industry and in providing easy prey-base for the various top predators which found to occur throughout the Gujarat area including protected and non-protected areas. In this, we collected control hair samples from the various cattle owners distributed in whole Saurashtra region of the Gujarat State in the year 2018. The total randomly picked up one hundred twenty guard hairs from a dorsal region of the four different cattle species were analyzed under microscopes to avail authenticated and the photographic evidence for the further carnivore scat analysis through this key. In this study, we used the recognizable qualitative and quantitative features of cuticle as well as medulla of the hair. Medullary Index (MI) found higher in domesticated Sheep 0.93±0.01, followed by Water Buffalo 0.9±0.02, followed by domesticated Goat 0.77±0.01, which further followed by domesticated cow 0.5±0.10 µm with lower MI. In this study we used the identifiable qualitative and quantitative features of Cuticle as well as Medulla. Key-words: Guard Hair, Ungulates, Domesticated Bovid, Protected Areas, Predatory Carnivore, Qualitative and Quantitative
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It has long been recognized that hairs are as characteristic of mammals as are the glands which give the class its name. When hairs do not appear in the adult animal, as in Odontoceti, they are at least present in the embryo. They may be confined, as in Mysticeti, to the region of the nares, or they may appear over the entire body, as in the Reindeer, in which even the usually bare mammalian snout is hairy. In recognition of this characteristic presence of hair it was at one time proposed that the class should be named Trichozoa or Pilifera. In recent years significant investigations on hair have been few, the latest contribution of note being that of Hamilton et al. (1951). In the latter part of the nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth century more extensive research was accomplished. However, merely 47 of the more than 3000 references in the possession of the author deal primarily with hair as a means of classification or identification, and the majority of these are anthropological studies on human hair. Only 17 concern themselves wholly or in sizeable part with the problem of hair of mammals other than man. With respect, then, to its systematic usefulness little research on hair has been done, and the taxonomic value of hair is a subject on which all authors have not agreed. Cole (1924: 120) and Nason (1948: 358), studying bats, both came to the conclusion that hair is of little use- in identification. Mathiak (1938), Williams (1938), and Brown (1942) all arrived at the opposite conclusion, and prepared aids for identifying certain mammals on the basis of hair alone. With this latter group the present author is in complete agreement. The ability to make positive identification of mammalian hair is of great value in fields such as criminology and paleontology and particularly in the field of food habits studies. Fortunately hair is a relatively durable feature, and a high percentage of the shafts recovered from the digestive tracts of birds and mammals are capable of being used for the purpose of making identification. HAIR STRUCTURE The hair shaft is a highly keratinized column lacking both nerves and blood vessels. The follicle is formed embryologically as an ectodermal invagination of cells from the malpighian layer of the epidermis. This invagination splits, and cells proliferating from the ectodermal base of the follicle, and nourished by a deeper-lying dermal papilla, move peripherally as the hair shaft proper (Danforth, 1925: 23). As the hairs move outward from the basal.bulb, the cells become more highly keratinized and tend to lose their individual identity. 480
Article
In the specimens of mammal hairs examined: (1) Scale-form (as expressed by the scale index, a mathematical expression of the relationship between the free proximo-distal diameter of the scales and the diameter of the hair-shaft) bore relation not to the natural group to which any given species belonged, but to the diameter of the hair-shaft. In other words, the coarser the hair the finer the scales, or the magnitudes of the free proximo-distal diameters of the cuticular scales and the diameters of the hair-shafts varied inversely. (2) The medulla-form varied with the diameters of the hair-shafts, and not with natural groups of mammals, in a definite way. (3) Hence, given the diameter of a hair-shaft, and regardless of the species from which it was derived, it should be possible to locate it in its proper medulla-form, or scale-form group, approximately. (4) It is inferred that the relationships between scale-form (as expressed by the scale index), medulla-form and hair-shaft diameter, which have been found in the series of samples examined in this study, obtain also among mammals in general. (5) From the results of previous studies of mammal hairs, as well as from added results from this present one, it can still be said, however, that specific differences of sufficient appreciable magnitude exist, commonly, to aid in identifying the species of mammal from which a given hair sample was obtained.