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Elk Hair

Elk Hair

This is from the McCrone Hair Standards set. This shows the characteristic crenate scale pattern of elk hair.

Transmitted 20 Degrees Off Crossed Linear Polarized Light


This hair belongs to the group Cervus canadensis. This group includes the varieties of North American elk or wapiti.

Significance in the Environment:

Characteristic Features:

Elk hair is about 100 to 300 micrometers wide from the root to near the tip. It has a lattice type medulla that nearly fills the hair. The cuticle pattern is imbricate flattened to crenate and has a scale count of about 7 to 10 per 100 micrometers. Deer 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.