Re: Body Hair Loss in Aquatic Mammals

Paul Crowley (
Sat, 14 Oct 95 13:05:08 GMT

In article <45n97s$> "Phil Nicholls" writes:

> AAH supporters vary on the amount of time hominid ancestors spent in
> the water. Hence we go from an "aquatic ape" to a "wading ape" and
> all points in between. However, only fully aquatic mammals have lost
> their body fur -- the only exception to this rule are some walruses
> and elephant seals and these are rather massive mammals (elephant
> seals range from 900-3500kg and walrusus, 700-2200kg).
> Hence aquatic convergence does not explain hair loss in hominids.

I'm an especially hairy person. It takes me ages to get dry after a
swim - much longer than most people. They're fully dressed and waiting
to go but I don't want to put my shirt because I'm still damp. If I
spent my life going in and out of the water, searching for shellfish,
this aspect of my anatomy would be significant handicap. I'd be much
more likely to suffer exhaustion or catch a chill.