Polarized Light Microscopy Digital Image Gallery

Mink Hair

In the wild, minks typically exhibit fur that is dark brown in color with white patching on the underside of the body. However, raised on ranches since the 1860s, domestic minks have been bred to create a wide variety of color morphs. Mink farmers have also selectively bred the animals to produce the highest quality of furs possible, reducing the percentage of coarse guard hairs the pelts contain and creating an even denser soft underfur. The treatment of minks on ranches, however, has been the subject of significant controversy. Territorial by nature, minks kept cages in close quarters can undergo a significant amount of stress. Moreover, many object to the practice of mink farming simply because they consider using the fur of the animals unnecessary since there are so many other fibers available that do not necessitate the killing of animals.


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