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Thread: Our Hair

  1. #1 Our Hair 
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    When and why did we evolve less hair


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  3. #2  
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    There are different theories concerning this.

    My own theory is that during the desertification of Africa several groups of our apelike ancestors where cut off from the main parts of the jungle environment. This is shown by the most recent discovery that the African wilderness at this time desertified in pockets rather than as a wave or line. Different creatures were trapped in these pockets of jungle with no means of getting out due to the vast stretches of savannah between different pockets of jungle environment. Because of this and the declining amount of species located in each pocket our apelike ancestors needed to travel out from the protection of the jungle in order to find food. As the desert does not provide as much protection from predators they learned that it is easier to travel in groups and carry weapons (Such as sticks and clubs which would eventually lead to sharp spears). Because our body type was not made for travelling vast distances in open savannah our bodies needed soem way to cool themselves so we beagn losing hair. This theory fits into the most popular held belief as to why hair loss occurred in that it provided a better means of cooling.

    Another theory known as the aquatic-ape theory says that our hair loss occurred because our ancestors found protection from predators in the water. A return to the water may allow us to lose our hair but then again it may not. I'm not to familiar with how many aquatic species in Africa don't have any hair. I do know that freatures of the north such as walruses, seals and beavers retain their hair even though they are partly aquatic.


    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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  4. #3  
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    as BumFluff said, it's cooling and aquatic. I just want to add that the third theory is that hair loss reduced parasites.
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  5. #4  
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    Miniaturization occurs in men and women who are balding. Miniaturization is the process where a normal thickness hair shaft becomes thinner and thinner over time due to the genetically determined effects of aging and/or androgenic hormones on the terminal (normal) hair follicle. The process of miniaturization is a slow process in genetic balding. Hair shafts may lose 10% of their diameter, then 20%, then 30% and so on. Each degree of increased miniaturization reflects further progression of the genetic balding process. The instruments that measure miniaturization were invented (and patented) by me in the early 1990s (USPTO.gov ) and they are in wide spread use today. Socially detectable hair loss is not evident until more than 50% of average weight hair has been lost (more with fine, high contrast skin/scalp color hair and less with coarse, low contrast skin/scalp color hair) and as a result, many men do not seek out expert help until they see some evidence of balding (which they too often deny)
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    jenny


    http://www.thescienceforum.com/posti...=reply&t=13728
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  6. #5  
    Time Lord
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    Another reason to lose hair could be clothing. Which is not to argue that the only cause. The parasite issue with thick hair under (filthy) clothing would be horrendous.

    The long head-hairs I guess are best strategy for shading head & neck.

    Personally I think species identification (characteristic appearance) was the main cause... but not as usually thought: not a game of mate selection. Rather the hair arrangement warned smart predators like big cats of just what we were. The fact is, primitive humans armed with sticks and stones can totally dominate a would-be predator, and it's better for all parties the predators know to keep their distance. Today, they do keep their distance from humans. We look like bad news.
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