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Indian Peafowl Feathers. Credit: USFWS

Students and Educators

LIBRARY OF MYSTERY PHOTOS

Fingerprint Analysis

Item: Magnifying lens for friction ridge comparison
Laboratory Section: Criminalistics
What’s the Story? Visual comparison of developed friction ridge detail developed on evidence to suspects standards for individualization.

Fingerprint Analysis
Credit: USFWS.

Chemistry Analysis

Item: Reagent preparation
Laboratory Section: Chemistry
What’s the Story? Forensic chemists prepare reagents used for detecting pesticides used illegally to kill wildlife.

Chemistry Analysis
Credit: USFWS.

Sampling for Blood Analysis

Item: Subsampling for hemoglobin analysis by MALDI-TOF
Laboratory Section: Chemistry
What’s the Story? Forensic chemists can quickly determine the species of origin of a blood sample or blood stain by determining the molecular weight of the alpha and beta chains of hemoglobin.

Sampling for Blood Analysis
Credit: USFWS.

California Dept. of Fish & Game Officer

Laboratory Section:  All
What’s the Story? The Laboratory maintains cooperative relationships with state wildlife agencies around the country and often works on joint state and federal investigations.

California Dept. of Fish & Game Officer
Credit: USFWS.

Dissecting Microscope

Laboratory Section:  Morphology
What’s the Story? This instrument allows close examination and photography of fine surface details of bones, reptile scales, and other biological material.

Dissecting Microscope
Credit: USFWS.

HPLC with Post-column Derivatization

Item: Instrument used for the detection and quantification of carbamate pesticides.
Laboratory Section: Chemistry
What’s the Story? Forensic chemists use this instrument for detecting carbamate pesticides used improperly or illegally to kill wildlife.

HPLC with Post-column Derivatization
Credit: USFWS.

Spectrum of a MALDI-TOF analysis of Hemoglobin

Item: Spectrum of the alpha and beta proteins of hemoglobin by MALDI-TOF analysis
Laboratory Section: Chemistry
What’s the Story? Forensic chemists can quickly determine the species of origin of a blood sample or blood stain by determining the molecular weight of the alpha and beta chains of hemoglobin.

Spectrum of a MALDI-TOF analysis of  Hemoglobin
Credit: USFWS.

DNA Sequence

Item Name: Electrophoretic trace of DNA
Laboratory Section: Genetics
What’s the Story?  Representation of DNA that has been run through a sequence reaction.  An automated process converts raw data into a graphical representation that is interpreted by the scientist to make species identifications.

DNA Sequence
Credit: USFWS.

Tiger Tooth and 3-D Scan

Common Name:  Tiger  
Scientific Name:  Panthera tigris
Protected Status:  U.S. ESA – Endangered; CITES – App. I
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story? The laboratory’s laser scanner allows us to make detailed 3-D images of bones for comparison and computer analysis.

Tiger Tooth and 3-D Scan
Credit: USFWS.

Elephant Hide Briefcase

Common Name:  African Elephant
Scientific Name:  Loxodonta africana
Protected Status:  U.S. ESA – Threatened; CITES – App. I or II, depending on subspecies and locality.
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story?   Elephant leather is used in a variety of products, including briefcases, boots, and wallets.  All these products are illegal in the U.S.

Elephant Hide Briefcase
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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