Re: Ape sweat

Pat Dooley (
17 Jul 1995 00:31:33 -0400

Re Ape sweat.

In response to Phil Nicholls long post on the subject,
I can only quote my original source.

The source is : The skin of non-human primates by William
Montagna in Am. Zoologist, 12:109-124 (1972)

(A systematic study) "failed to explain the unique feature
of human skin - its almost complete nakedness."

re eccrine glands in primates :"One might surmise that, like
man, these animals sweat in response to heat stimulation.
However, with singular exceptions, if the glands secrete at
all, the amount is so small that it cannot be recorded.
Sometimes animals show beads of sweat on the facial
disc when under deep anesthesia, but our efforts to induce
thermal sweating have failed. We have also largely failed to
induce sweating with sudorific drugs. In the chimpanzee,
very few, small sweat drops were recorded even after the
administration of shockingly large doses of these drugs."

"why do these glands not function when they seem to have all
the equipment for doing so?"

"It appears, then, that eccrine glands are relatively new
acquisitions in the hairy skin of primates and that only in
man do they really serve the purpose of thermoregulation."

So, unless Phillip Nicholls can give us information on more
recent experiments where researchers could induce eccrine
sweating in chimpanzees through thermal stress, I'll stand
by the AAT position that man is unique amongst the apes in
using profuse eccrine sweating for thermo-regulation.

Pat Dooley