Re: animal hair x-sections

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From:James Hall <>
To:Rhidian Harrington <>,
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Hi Rhidian,

A number of years ago my pathologist wanted x-sections of hair and I
embedded them in wax by allowing the wax to slightly solidify on the bottom
of a metal mould and used forceps to orientate the hairs end on in the
partially solidified wax.  It was then just a matter of allowing the wax to
cool and cut and mount the sections.  If I remember correctly, the
pathologist examined the hairs without the removal of the wax from the



At 11:16 08/05/00 +1000, Rhidian Harrington wrote:
>I, with the help of Bruce Abaloz, have been trying to do cross 
>sections of animal hairs without much success. I collected the hairs 
>during a fauna survey in Pakistan. A cross section is the best 
>characteristic for identifying unknown animal hairs. The literature 
>(which is old) suggests that you use stainless steel slides with 0.8 
>mm holes drilled in them. The hairs are packed tightly in the holes 
>and  then cut off on either side of the slide. A cover slip can be 
>mounted and the cross section viewed.
>Does anybody know a different, more efficient method than this for 
>doing cross sections of hairs?
>Rhidian Harrington
>Department of Zoology
>University of Melbourne
>Melbourne, Victoria
>Ph:  +61-3-8344 4354 (W)
>      +61-3-9844 2703 (H)
>Fax: +61-3-8344 7909

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