Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Random Research: Hair and Fur

All fur is hair, but all hair isn't fur.

Hair may be related to reptile scales and bird feathers, which all represent different expressions of the same protein.

Hair takes even longer to decay than bones do.

Theories abound as to why people are hairless when our ape ancestors aren't. Temperature regulation? Pest control? Sexual selection? Or some combination: perhaps having less hair kept us cooler by day and kept the lice down, and we had clothing and shelter to keep us warm at night...thus allowing us to choose less hairy mates without our children freezing to death. Or something.

If you google "hair evolution", you get a lot of funky hairstyles, and a lot of beauty products with the word "evolution" in their names.


  1. I came across this in an article today:
    "Why did humans lose their coat? Each argument - parasites, neoteny, and sexual attractiveness - has its own down side. If parasites were the culprit, why did only humans shed their fur. Chimps and bonobos, so much like humans and living in the same environment, would surely have benefitted from less parasites as well. If neoteny - the retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood - is the reason, why would human fetuses grow hair and then shed it? And although existing characteristics are exaggerated by virtue of sexual selection over generations, new characteristics are rarely founded in this way."

    Doug Summers Stay

  2. heya. They shut down our cabin at camp. geez. Just wondering how you ended up doing. Did you make the 50k? I only ended up writing about 750 more words.

    GregoryDean (campnano cabin mate)


Lee Ann Setzer's blog about books, writing, and life in general.