Med. Weter. 2019, 75 (7), 435-437

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Development of a new method for identifying species affiliation based on forensic hair examination
The aim of the research was to develop a method for determining the species affinity of animal hair by determining its melting temperature. The research material was selected from hair samples of livestock and wild animals. We investigated 170 hairs of 16 animal species and humans. The hair melting point was determined by an automated system for melting temperature determination Opti Melt (MPA100). In the present study, we suggest that species affiliation can be effectively determined by examining physical properties of hair, in particular by determining its melting temperature. The hair melting temperatures for different animal species are in different ranges, but the initial melting points for hair of certain animal species are similar. For example, the initial melting point for cat, sheep, hare, rabbit, and rat hair ranged from 100 to 111 ° C, and the hair of the wolf, bear, and fox began to melt at 139.2 to 141.2 ° C. The results of this research make it possible to determine the species affinity of animals according to their hair melting temperature, which had not been done before. The proposed method yields rapid results and can be used as an auxiliary method in ambiguous cases in which data obtained by microscopic examination are insufficient. It will greatly facilitate the work of forensic specialists, enriching the arsenal of available methods.
Keywords: forensic examination, animal hair, human hair, species affiliation