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Alaskan Seal Hair

Alaskan Seal Hair

This is from the Cargille Hair Standards set.

Transmitted Oblique Off Crossed Circular Polarized Light


KINGDOM: Animalia PHYLUM: Chordata CLASS: Mammalia ORDER: Carnivora SUBORDER: Pinnipedia FAMILY: Phocidae GENUS: Phoca SPECIES: vitulina

Significance in the Environment:

This is a fur used in coats, wraps, and other articles of clothing. Its presence in an indoor environment is generally indicative of clothing.

Characteristic Features:

Seal hair is around 20 micrometers wide and about 5 micrometers thick over most of its body. Visual evidence of the medulla is absent. The cuticle pattern is imbricate acuminate over the entire length. The scale count is about 3 to 4 per 100 micrometers over most of its length and a little higher, about 6 per 100 micrometers, near the root and termination. Seal hair has a refractive index along its length of about 1.56 and perpendicular to its length of about 1.55. It has a birefringence of about 0.01 and a positive sign of elongation.

Associated Particles:


References with Photographs and/or Drawings

Hausman, Leon Augustus, "Structural charactreistics of the hair of mammals", THE AMERICAN NATURALIST, vol. 54, no. 635, pp.496-523,

Hausman, Leon Augustus, "Recent studies of hair structure relationships", THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY, pp. 258-277,

Glaister, John, A STUDY OF HAIRS AND WOOLS, Misr Press, Cairo, 1931.

FBI site for Animal Hair Identification:

Keys Only

Mayer, William V., "The hair of California mammals with keys to the dorsal guard hairs of California mammals", THE AMERICAN MIDLAND NATURALIST, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 480-512, 1952.

Stains, Howard J., "Field key to guard hair of middle western furbearers", JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT, vol. 22, no.1, pp. 95-97, January, 1958.

Mathiak, Harold A., "A key to hairs of the mammals of southern Michigan", JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 251-268, October, 1938.