Re: Guide for anti-AATers

Benjamin H Diebold (
8 Nov 1995 01:37:16 GMT

: Benjamin H Diebold ( sez:

: `How do you explain the other animals that swim and dive, but that still
: `have hair? There are many mammals that spend varying amounts of time in
: `the water, but yet have hair. Why wouldn't the same selective advantage
: `in less body hair apply to them?

: I don't think you'll find any with hair. Fur, they have. Considerably
: different. Fur is a definite advantage for an aquatic animal,
: whereas hair is probably just a nuisance, and possibly a serious
: liability. It's not thick enough to insulate, nor oily enough
: to shed water.

Is there some qualitative difference between the hair on my back and the
hair on a chimp's back, beside the fact that he has more of it?

If there is no real qualitative difference, then there's just a continuum
of haired (furry) to hairless (naked), in which case I don't understand
why my original point is inaccurate.

If there is such a difference, then when in the pre-Aquatic Ape stage of
hominid evolution did fur become hair, and therefore something needing
sloughing off as opposed to something worth keeping?

Finally, if fur is such an advantage to aquatic animals, why don't
whales, dolphins, or even fish have fur? In fact, it looks like very,
very few aquatic animals have fur. Did their ancestors all start out with
hair instead of fur, too (assuming your qualitative difference between
hair and fur)?