The macro- and microscopic structure of the mammal hair is amazingly diverse, being specific and appropriate to identify the species, genera or higher taxa. The identification of mammals using the morphological characters of their hair requires time and practice, so this method is underused in the era of molecular investigations. Hair is the most frequent and often the only sign of mammals in the field, moreover, the most recent biodiversity and conservation biology studies prefer the use of non-invasive methods, including hair-trapping, bird-nest analysis, and the identification of the hairs as remnants of prey taxa. Trichomorphology can support taxonomic work, the understanding of phylogenetic relationships, adaptation to the environment, and forensic work. The reliability hair structure as a means in mammal identification depends greatly on the reliability of the information content of hair characteristics, so the aim of Hair and Fur Atlas of Central European Mammals is to assist these studies by summarizing the author's many years of experience in this field. The book includes a resume on the history of trichomorphology, the anatomy of mammal hair, the most important physiological and taxonomical aspects. The book contains descriptions of 123 mammal species occurring in Central Europe. Several hundred illustrations and an identification key to the guard hairs are provided.
Hair and Fur Atlas of Central European Mammals is intended primarily for the use of wildlife biologists, conservation biologists, palaeontologists, archaeologists, and wildlife forensic experts. Hopefully, it will also provide an introduction into this micro-world for the inquiring naturalist.