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Indian Peafowl Feathers. Credit: USFWS

Students and Educators

LIBRARY OF MYSTERY PHOTOS

Pheasant Feathers

Common Name: Satyr Tragopan
Scientific Name: Tragopan satyra
Protected Status:  CITES – APP. III
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story? This pheasant is protected in its native Nepal, placing restrictions on international trade in its feathers.

Pheasant Feathers
Credit: USFWS.

Gharial Teeth

Common Name: Gharial
Scientific Name: Gavialis gangeticus
Protected Status: U.S. ESA – Endangered; CITES – App. 1.
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story? The Gharial is a relative of the Crocodiles, and has a long narrow snout.

Gharial Teeth
Credit: USFWS.

Sperm Whale Teeth

Common Name:  Sperm whale
Scientific Name: Physeter catodon
Protected Status:  U.S. ESA – Endangered; Marine Mammal Act; CITES – App.I.
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story?  Sperm whales have teeth in the lower jaw that can exceed 7cm in height; the upper teeth are vestigial and do not erupt much above the gum line.

Sperm Whale Teeth
Credit: USFWS.

Jay Feathers

Common Name: Eurasian Jay
Scientific Name: Garrulus glandarius
Protected Status: Not protected by U.S. Law or CITES.
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story?  The blue-and-black feathers of this species are popular in fly-tying.

Jay Feathers
Credit: USFWS.

Wild Turkey Feathers

Common Name: Wild Turkey
Scientific Name: Meleagris gallopavo
Protected Status:  Turkey hunting is regulated by the states.
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story?  Turkey feathers may be legally possessed and sold, and are commonly used for decoration in a variety of objects.

Wild Turkey Feathers
Credit: USFWS.

Junglefowl Feathers

Common Name: Grey Junglefowl
Scientific Name: Gallus sonneratii
Protected Status: CITES – App. II
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story?  Feathers of the Grey Junglefowl are popular in fly-tying.  Feathers from documented captive birds may be sold for this purpose, but not feathers from wild Grey Junglefowl.

Junglefowl Feathers
Credit: USFWS.

Pheasant Feathers

Common Name: Great Argus pheasant
Scientific Name: Argusianus argus
Protected Status:  CITES – App. II
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story?  This large pheasant of Southeast Asia possesses some of the most ornate and beautiful feathers in the world.  These feathers are sometimes seen in trade for their decorative value.

Pheasant Feathers
Credit: USFWS.

Leopard Fur

Common Name:  Leopard          
Scientific Name:  Panthera pardus
Protected Status:  U.S. ESA – Endangered or Threatened depending on locality; CITES – App.I.
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story? The dark solid spots on a white ground indicate that this is from the belly skin of a leopard.

Leopard Fur
Credit: USFWS.

Pangolin Scales

Common Name:  Pangolin or Scaly Anteater
Scientific Name:  Manis sp.
Protected Status: U.S. ESA – Endangered as Manis temmincki; CITES – App. II
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story? The Pangolin is a scaled mammal found in Africa and Asia.

Pangolin Scales
Credit: USFWS.

Hawk and Owl Skulls

Common Name:  Hawks and owls (several species)
Scientific Name:  Falconiformes (hawks and related birds of prey) and Strigiformes (owls)
Protected Status:  U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act and CITES - App. II
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story?  These skulls have been prepared for the Lab’s collection of skeleton reference specimens.  Comparisons between these known examples, or “standards,” and bird skulls submitted as evidence allows species identifications to be made.

Hawk and Owl Skulls
Credit: USFWS.

NOTICES:

  • These photos should not be used for identification purposes.  Detailed information to assist with selected species identification problems can be found at Publications and Identifications Guides.
  • For more information about Protected Status, view our U.S. Wildlife Laws page.
  • You may download these photos for educational purposes with credit to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), but cannot use them for commercial purposes or sell them.
  • Copyright © US Fish & Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory.

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