Author Archives: Ellen Carrlee

Conservator, Alaska State Museum

Alaska Fur ID Project

What is this website, and how do I use it? In a nutshell, use these clues and tools to build your case. The best way to use this resource is to check the INDEX for the animal or animal grouping you are examining, and click on it.  Each one is a separate blog posting, and your […]


Under construction May 2011 BEARS ORDER CARNIVORA (the carnivores) Family Ursidae (the ursids) Black Bear (Ursus americanus) Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) LENGTH: Guard hairs tend to be long, maximum length of the hair more than 60mm, often up to 100 mm.  One black bear sample was 290mm, and a polar bear […]


Under construction May 2011 RODENTS AND HARES Collared Pika, Snowshoe Hare, and Alaskan Hare are not rodents, but are small prey animals and are grouped here for convenience.  ORDER RODENTIA (the rodents) Alaska Marmot (Marmota broweri) Arctic Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus parryii) Beaver (Castor canadensis) Hoary Marmot (Marmota caligata) Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys […]


Under construction May 2011 MARINE MAMMALS Suborder/superfamily Pinnipedia (the pinnipeds) Family Otarvidae (the otarvids) Northern Fur Seal (Callorhinus ursinus) Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus) Family Phocidae (the phocids=earless seals) Bearded Seal (Erignathus barbatus) Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) Ribbon Seal (Phoca fasciata) Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida) Spotted Seal (Phoca largha) LENGTH: Sea lion and fur seal […]


Under construction May 2011 HOOFED MAMMALS ORDER ARTIODACTYLA (the even-toed ungulates) Family Cervidae (the cervids) Caribou/ Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) Moose (Alces alces) Roosevelt Elk/ Olympic Elk (Cervus Canadensis Roosevelt) Sitka Black-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) Family Bovidae (the bovids) American Bison ( Bison bison) Calf/ Cattle (Bos Taurus) Dall Sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) Mountain Goat […]


Under construction May 2011 CANINES AND FELINES ORDER CARNIVORA (the carnivores) Family Canidae (the canids) Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) Coyote (Canis latrans incolatus) Dog (Canis lupus familiaris) Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) Wolf (Canis lupus) LENGTH: Coyote, dog, and wolf had a lot of variability in guard hair length (up to 120-150mm), but the arctic fox […]


Under construction May 2011 WEASELS ORDER CARNIVORA (the carnivores) Family Mustelidae (the mustelids) Fisher (Martes pennati) Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis) American Marten (Martes americana) Mink (Neovison vison) River Otter (Londra canadensis) Sable (Martes zibellina) Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) Short-tailed Weasel (Mustela erminea) Wolverine (Gulo gulo) LENGTH: Most of the weasel guard hair is under 60mm […]


Under Construction May 2011 STELLER SEA LION Eumetopias jubatus GUARD HAIR Length: 20mm (Mayer 1952), 12-20 mm (ASM #1) Diameter Range: 190 microns  (Mayer 1952), 155-195 microns (ASM #1). Medullary Index: 0.22 (ASM #1) Medulla:  Present but fragmentary and occupies less than half the width of the shaft (Mayer 1952). Medulla appears fragmentary, occurring in […]


Under construction May 2011 BLACK BEAR Ursus americanus GUARD HAIR Length: max 80mm (Mayer 1952), up to 100mm (Tumlison 1983), max 108mm (Hicks 1977), 100-110 mane hairs (Adorjan and Kolenosky 1969), 108mm max (Moore et al 1974), 90-100 mm up to 120mm near belly (ASM #1), 55-65mm (ASM #2), 45-70 (ASM #3), 80-290mm (ASM #4), […]


Under construction May 2011 BROWN BEAR Ursus arctos GUARD HAIR Length: 60-80mm (Brown 1942), max 70 (Hicks 1977 for grizzly), 90mm (Furskin 2006), 70mm max (Moore et al 1974), 40-48mm (ASM #1), 45-60mm (ASM #2), 110-120mm (ASM #4) Diameter Range: 100-260 microns (Brown 1942). 100-120 (ASM#2). 87-95 microns (ASM #1) 140 microns (ASM #4) 80-175 […]