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Chinchilla Hair

Chinchilla Hair

This is a hair from the McCrone animal hair standards kit. This shows the aeroform medulla structure of the thicker hairs and the well developed scale pattern.

Transmitted 20 Degrees Off Crossed Circular Polarized Light


Significance in the Environment:

Characteristic Features:

Chinchilla hair is about 10 to 15 micrometers wide from the root (narrow) to near the tip (wide). It begins with a uniserial ladder medulla which changes to biserial or aeroform in the thicker regions. The pigment bodies are concentrated in the medulla in clumps between the areole vesicles over most of the hair but toward the tip the medulla disappears and the pigment bodies are visible elongated clumps and lines. The cortex is quite narrow. The cuticle pattern tends to be simple coronal and has a scale count of about 4 per 100 micrometers. Chinchilla 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.