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Using morphometric and analytical techniques to characterize elephant ivory

Singh, Rina Rani and Goyal, Surendra Prakash and Khanna, Param Pal and Mukherjee, Pulok Kumar and Sukumar, Raman (2006) Using morphometric and analytical techniques to characterize elephant ivory. In: Forensic Science International, 162 (1-3). pp. 144-151.

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There is a need to characterize Asian elephant ivory and compare with African ivory for controlling illegal trade and implementation of national and international laws. In this paper, we characterize ivory of Asian and African elephants using Schreger angle measurements, elemental analysis $\{$ X-ray fluorescence (XRF), inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS)\} and isotopic analysis. We recorded Schreger angle characteristics of elephant ivory at three different zones in ivory samples of African (n = 12) and Asian (n = 28) elephants. The Schreger angle ranged from $32^o$ to $145^o$ and $30^o$ to $153^o$ in Asian and African ivory, respectively. Elemental analysis (for Asian and African ivory) by XRF, ICP-AES and ICP-MS provided preliminary data. We attempted to ascertain source of origin of Asian elephant ivory similarly as in African ivory based on isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and strontium. We determined isotopic ratios of carbon (n = 31) and nitrogen (n = 31) corresponding to diet and rainfall, respectively. Reference ivory samples from five areas within India were analyzed using collagen and powder sample and the latter was found more suitable for forensic analysis. During our preliminary analysis, the range of $\delta^{13}C$ values (-13.6\pm 0.15%o and –25.6\pm 0.15%o) and $\delta^{15}N$ values (10.2\pm 0.15%o and 3.5\pm 0.15%o) were noted.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Forensic Science International
Publisher: Elsevier
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier.
Keywords: Elephant ivory;Schreger angle;Morphometry;Inductively coupled plasma analysis–MS;Isotopic analysis;X-ray fluorescence
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:32
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/8935

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