Journal of Forensic Research

ISSN: 2157-7145

Open Access

Scanning Electron Microscopic Characterization and Elemental Analysis of Hair: A Tool in Identification of Felidae Animals


Dahiya MS and Yadav SK

Within the forensic identification the study of animal hair has remain limited to cross-species comparisons from the same family but there is also considerable changes in those animals like scale layer differentiation growth pattern, tensile strength, granulation and elemental profile of the animal hair. Here a rapid method is described for assessing a variety of morphological characteristics for identification of species that could be easily used by forensic investigators to identify the hairs from different species by just a fraction of single hair sample using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). Hair samples from 90 animals of Felidae family, 30 from each Panthera leo persica (lion), Panthera paradus fusca (Leopard) and Panthera tigris tigris (Tiger) were examined for their cuticular scale layer difference pattern and measurements were taken using SEM annotations. Significant differences were observed in scale layer pattern differences/difference in overlapping of each scale in hair which can be used in identification of the species. The difference between each layer was observed as 6.72431 ± 0.4, 7.869655 ± 0.38 and 9.592897 ± 0.5 μm for Panthera Leo persica, Panthera tigris tigris and Panthera pradus fusca. Elemental analysis for all the three species from Felidae family have been evaluated using Energy Dispersive Spectrum coupled with SEM for analysis of Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Sulfur. Significant results were obtained are can be further used to establish a concordance with the species identification.


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