Polarized Light Microscopy Digital Image Gallery

Ermine Hair

During the winter in cold climes, the fur of ermines, which is at other times of the year predominantly brown, turns white, except for a black spot at the end of the tail. In areas that are a bit warmer, however, the coat of the animal only turns partially white. It is the principally white winter pelt of the ermine that is in great demand within the fur industry, where the soft, lush, highly valuable hair is often utilized to fabricate coats, stoles, and trimmings. In fact, the admiration of and desire for white ermine fur extends back many centuries. The tails of the animals were, for instance, utilized as ornamentation by the warriors of certain Native American tribes, and in England during the years that Edward III inhabited the throne (1327-1377) ermine fur was considered so luxurious that it could only be worn by the royal family.


© 1995-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 02:51 PM
Access Count Since November 20, 2003: 6037
Microscopes provided by:
Visit the Nikon website. Visit the Olympus Microscopy Resource Center website.