open access

Vol 60, No 1 (2001)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2000-11-09
Submitted: 2012-02-06
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Scanning electron microscopic study of different hair types in various breeds of rabbits

Wim Van den Broeck, Peter Mortier, Paul Simoens
Folia Morphol 2001;60(1):33-40.

open access

Vol 60, No 1 (2001)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2000-11-09
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

The microarchitecture of the cover hairs, wool hairs and tactile (sinus) hairs of feral, New Zealand White and Angora rabbits was studied by means of scanning electron microscopy. The morphology and variability of the cuticular scale patterns, hair cortex, medullary arrangement and profile of the hairs are described, illustrated and compared with findings resulting from conventional light microscopy, cuticular casting and medullary impregnation. All parameters examined in cover hairs presented a considerable variation along the length of the hair shaft. In wool hairs, in contrast, only the cuticular scale pattern was subject to manifest segmental variation, whereas the shaft diameter, cortical profile and medullar composition changed little over the entire length of the hair. The tactile hairs of the head were characterised by a round profile of the hair shaft, a cylindrical central medullar canal, and a thick cortex covered by cuticular scales that were arranged in a waved pattern and oriented transversally in relation to the longitudinal axis of the hair. It was concluded that the scanning electron microscopic observation of hair samples is a fast and valuable method for identifying hair types with useful applications in different disciplines such as mammalian biology, the textile industry and forensic medicine.

Abstract

The microarchitecture of the cover hairs, wool hairs and tactile (sinus) hairs of feral, New Zealand White and Angora rabbits was studied by means of scanning electron microscopy. The morphology and variability of the cuticular scale patterns, hair cortex, medullary arrangement and profile of the hairs are described, illustrated and compared with findings resulting from conventional light microscopy, cuticular casting and medullary impregnation. All parameters examined in cover hairs presented a considerable variation along the length of the hair shaft. In wool hairs, in contrast, only the cuticular scale pattern was subject to manifest segmental variation, whereas the shaft diameter, cortical profile and medullar composition changed little over the entire length of the hair. The tactile hairs of the head were characterised by a round profile of the hair shaft, a cylindrical central medullar canal, and a thick cortex covered by cuticular scales that were arranged in a waved pattern and oriented transversally in relation to the longitudinal axis of the hair. It was concluded that the scanning electron microscopic observation of hair samples is a fast and valuable method for identifying hair types with useful applications in different disciplines such as mammalian biology, the textile industry and forensic medicine.
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Keywords

morphology; hair; wool; cuticular scales; rabbit; Angora

About this article
Title

Scanning electron microscopic study of different hair types in various breeds of rabbits

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 60, No 1 (2001)

Pages

33-40

Published online

2000-11-09

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2001;60(1):33-40.

Keywords

morphology
hair
wool
cuticular scales
rabbit
Angora

Authors

Wim Van den Broeck
Peter Mortier
Paul Simoens

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