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Deer Hair

Deer Hair

This is from a section of deer hide. This shows the medulla pattern of deer hair.

Transmitted 20 Degrees Off Crossed Linear Polarized Light


This hair belongs to the group Odocoileus. This group includes the varieties of North American deer.

Significance in the Environment:

Characteristic Features:

Deer 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 broadly acuminate and has a scale count of about 3 to 7 per 100 micrometers depending on the scale pattern. The characteristic diamond pattern is 3 to 4 scales per 100 micrometers and the flattened to vermiform scales are around 7. 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.