White rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum horn development and structure : a deceptive optical illusion

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dc.contributor.author Boy, Sonja Catharina
dc.contributor.author Raubenheimer, E.J.
dc.contributor.author Marais, Johan
dc.contributor.author Steenkamp, Gerhardus
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-04T09:13:08Z
dc.date.issued 2015-07
dc.description.abstract The alleged traditional medicinal properties of rhinoceros horn resulted in a dramatic escalation in rhinoceros poaching in South Africa. Despite the listing of all species of rhinoceros in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened animals, their numbers are still declining rapidly. Based on the assumption that rhinoceros' horn consists of a collection of hollow tubules and intertubular hollow spaces, which allow internal fluid distribution, a horn devaluation procedure through infusion of chemicals and dyes was recently introduced. This procedure is costly and has a mortality risk. This study provides the first detailed description of the development and resultant structure of the rhinoceros horn. The unique solid structure which consists of a large number of tightly packed filaments is the result of the cellular orientation of squamous epithelium corneocytes. What was previously thought to be microtubules is an optical illusion created by the orientation of the corneocytes in the solid filaments. We contest the scientific basis for infusing chemicals into the rhinoceros horn as a deterrent for human use. en_ZA
dc.description.embargo 2016-07-31
dc.description.librarian hb2015 en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1469-7998 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Boy, SC, Raubenheimer, E, Marais, J & Steenkamp, G 2015, 'White rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum horn development and structure : a deceptive optical illusion', Journal of Zoology, vol. 296, no. 3, pp. 161-166. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0952-8369 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1469-7998 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1111/jzo.12229
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/50331
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Wiley en_ZA
dc.rights © 2015 The Zoological Society of London. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article : White rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum horn development and structure : a deceptive optical illusion, Journal of Zoology, vol. 296, no.3, pp. 161-166, 2015. doi : 10.1111/jzo.12229. The definite version is available at : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1469-7998. en_ZA
dc.subject Horn structure en_ZA
dc.subject Onychokeratinization en_ZA
dc.subject Keratin en_ZA
dc.subject Dermal papillae en_ZA
dc.subject White rhinoceros en_ZA
dc.subject South Africa en_ZA
dc.subject Ceratotherium simum
dc.title White rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum horn development and structure : a deceptive optical illusion en_ZA
dc.type Postprint Article en_ZA


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