Polarized Light Microscopy Digital Image Gallery

Antelope Hair

Over the past 30 years, many species of antelope have become endangered. This development is largely a result of the fact that in addition to the natural predation they suffer from leopards, lions, wild dogs, and other animals, antelopes are hunted by man. One species that is in particularly critical condition is the Tibetan antelope, also known scientifically as Pantholops hodgsonii and commonly as the chiru. These animals have been, and continue to be, hunted extensively for their undercoats, the wool of which is known as shahtoosh, meaning “king of wools” in Persian. Although the endangered status of the chiru makes it illegal to trade and import items derived from them in most countries, their wool can still be found circulating illegally, generally commanding exorbitant prices.


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