Re: Why is Homo sapiens hairless?

Jos€ Herculano (
20 Nov 1996 14:34:20 GMT

> I believe Roh answered that in his post better than I could. I might add,
> though there are exceptions, hair on the head also serves to protect the
> organ(s) underneath the head. The brain, spinal column, arteries and
> veins in the head. (and no, I don't know why some males of our species
> lose theirs, though recently there are studies relating estrogen to this).

The protection afforded by hair is so frail that it would really be far-fetched
to derive an adaptive trend from it, either way.

The best explanation that I have ever heard has nothing to do with a cause-
effect relationship, but with a lateral process:

Human infants, due to the known pelvic problems associated to our larger
brain, are born in a very immature state. That trigged immaturity continues:
we keep infantile behavior (in relation to the other higher-primates)
our lives - curiosity, playfulness, etc.

An immature chimpanzee fetus has no body hair. By the known genetic
process that keeps us immature in relation to our cousins, we can explain why
do we have so little body hair.

Jos€ Herculano