Re: Body Hair Loss in Aquatic Mammals

David L Burkhead (
16 Oct 1995 11:27:47 GMT

In article <45ofbu$> writes:
>Paul Crowley <> wrote:
>>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.
>Another point is that aquatic animals that have not lost their hair
>usually have lots of sebacious glands to waterproof their fur and skin.
>What explanations do non-AATers have for the large numbers of sebaceous
>glands on the back, shoulders, neck and face of humans?

_All_ hair-bearing animals have such glands. For land animals
they keep the hair from drying out and cracking. For aquatic animals,
they keep it from becoming waterlogged.

You haven't shown _anything_ in your statement that demonstrates
that human sebacious glands are a closer match to those of aquatic
animals than to those of land animals. Since _my_ hair does get
waterlogged, but somehow manages to avoid being dried out in arid
conditions, I suspect that such demonstration would be
difficult--since it doesn't appear to match reality.

David L. Burkhead

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