Re: A hairy question

Lemonhead (
Thu, 18 May 1995 19:11:25 -0500

On 18 May 1995 Tabuck@.MISSING-HOST-NAME. wrote:
> That's pretty much what I thought, but to take it one step further: I'm
> wondering if/when hominids may have lost much of the hair over their bodies.
> I'm also wondering if any other animals have hair which continues to grow as
> ours does; I don't know of any. If there are none, then it would be
> reasonable to assume that hominids took on this characteristic at some point
> (but only on their heads). So hominids would have had the hair on most of
> their bodies drastically reduced, while the hair on their heads began to grow
> more.
There are two (three if you count AAH, which I don't) theories
that I have heard. One says that hominids lost the hair shortly after
becoming more bipedal. The reasoning goes that since the main purpose of
hair for savannah animals is to block out the sun, only parts of the body
that were still exposed to direct sunlight needed the hair, and the loss
of hair kept the animal cooler.
I've also heard someone mention that hair loss came about with H.
erectus. I don't recall any real reasons being given, although I could
be forgetting. I think the person was agrueing that hair loss was
related to the increase in height we see in erectus and that the
combination of the two showed an increased amount of time spent in the
open savannah.

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