Under Construction May 2011


Bos taurus


Length: 30-40mm (Adorjan and Kolenosky 1969) 20-140 (Moore et al 1974)

Diameter Range: 35-40 microns (ASM#1) 35-75 microns (Furskin 2006) 80 microns (ASM #2) 60-130 microns (Moore et al 1974)

Medullary Index: 0.5 (ASM #1) 0.15 to 0.3 (ASM #2))

Medulla: Interrupted 10 microns diameter (ASM #1) Continuous 20 microns diameter (ASM #1) Wavy edge and gets thick and thin, sometimes it is interrupted.  Quite a bit of the tip of the hair has no medulla. Some hairs have no medulla, some interrupted and some have a continuous medulla that can be very dark.  (ASM #2)  Medulla usually extends into the root? (Hicks 1977)

Color: Brown overall. Large clumps of pigment granules and air spaces scattered throughout the cortex.  Hicks (1977) says that there are large ovoid structures in cows especially. Not banded (Moore et al 1974)

Scales: Coronet or stacked-cups in shape. Wavy or very irregular margins.


Length: 15-35mm (Furskin 2006)

Diameter Range: 14-28 microns (Furskin 2006)

Medullary Index:

Medulla: present, not enough sample to characterize

Color: similar to guard hairs (Adorjan and Kolenosky 1969)

Scales: Stacked crowns.

Macro Qualities: Low “serviceability” (Bachrach 1953) Calves have no underfur? (Samet 1953)

Cultures: Sometimes seen on the fancy trim or cutwork of parkas, where contrasting light and dark caribou hair was traditionally used before the more dramatic black/white contrast of the cow hair was available.

Notes: ASM #1 from the ASM education collection II-E-31, ASM #2 from the Carolina Biological Supply Co reference set without underfur, ASM #3 is from the ASM education collection.

Troubleshooting: Moore et al (1974) say cow and horse may be distinguished by the wide unbroken medulla in the base of horse hair.

Names: Order Artiodactyla (the even-toed ungulates) Family Bovidae (the bovids)


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