Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) demonstrates efficiently species-specific differences of hairy skin (integumentum commune) of domestic mammals (pig, cat, dog, horse, cattle, sheep, goat). This technique is very helpful in characterizing the typical structural features of the epidermal layers, the arrangement of the collagen fibre bundles and the elastic fibre network in the dermis, the external and internal construction of hair follicles and hair shafts, and the functional development of skin glands. It is also possible to observe certain domestication effects, especially where the hair coat is concerned.
SEM supplements the knowledge about the integument as available from conventional transmission electron microscopy, light microscopy or histochemistry. Thus, comparative morphology can be the basis for the development of specific functional models of the different integumentary layers and derivatives or their tissues involved.
Meyer, W. and Neurand, K.
"A Comparative Scanning Electron Microscopic View of the Integument of Domestic Mammals,"
Scanning Microscopy: Vol. 1
, Article 16.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/microscopy/vol1/iss1/16