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Hair and Evolution ???

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posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 02:50 PM
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I was sitting thinking about this a couple of days ago and so I've decided to raise it here and see what others have to say.

Humans evolved to have little hair. How and why ?

Evolution acts through sexual preference and through survival.

Did female apes prefer less hairy male apes ?

Did male apes prefer less hairy female apes ?

Did less hairy apes have a better chance of survival than their hairier relatives ?

What effect if any has the adoption of clothing had or standing upright ?

Why haven't other apes become less hairy ?

I'm very pleased I'm not hairy but I'm having a little difficulty understanding the biological imperative for this. Perhaps, we aren't less hairy just that our hairs have become finer and smaller but then that just raises a similar question.

Anyone know about this ??

JB1




posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 03:02 PM
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The evolution towards less bodily hair in our species has been theorized to come from coastal population of Early man. By hunting fish off the shore man was increasingly exposed to an aquatic environment and the prescence of hair is not condusive to the retention of heat in such an environment- meaning the purpose of hair was not being fulfilled and thus became unnecassary and discontinued. The resultant behaviour seems to point towards a sexual prefeence towards less hair.

Other apes retained hair because their environment did not require any further genetic alteration - remember though a species might be a species differences will occur if the environment is different resulting in genetic changes to one grouping and different changes or no changes in another.

This help any?


[edit on 21-12-2004 by MemoryShock]



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 03:06 PM
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I thought that I heard something a while ago about how human hair lessened as a defense against lice and other parasites.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 03:16 PM
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Perhaps it's because apes don't wear clothes and shave themselves?

Just a thought.

But years of supplementing our natural insulation with artificial insulation (i.e. dead animal hides, then more refined fabrics)...probably led to this.

My fascination was more with our finger and toe nails... They clearly used to be claws (made of the same material, keratin) and we can see the remnants in modern apes as well...but of course, with disuse over the ages, they've shortened and changed...almost becoming non-existant (such as on your pinky finger and toe)



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 03:19 PM
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Ok, if you look at it objectively, you should be able to come up with a few reasons on your own. Now, I have heard and read that humans possibly developed less hair due to diseases carried by ticks and other parasites as mentioned above. There are other scenerios that should be possible. The theory posed above that referenced fishing and coastal life is a possibility. It could have been a heat diffusion issue. It could have been a sexual preference issue.

What you should do is develop your own theory. Sit and think your own way through it. Use these ideas, and come up with some of your own. If you put time into it for yourself, you will end up being rewarded for it in the end. Even if you come up with one of the answers mentioned above.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 04:18 PM
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The lice and the wading have been mentioned before -- and let me tell you this can be a reat hot topic among paleontologists.

Truth is, we don't know HOW much hair our ancestors had. They are DRAWN as hairy, but there's no real evidence that they had any more body hair than what we see now. The mummies (almost all homo sapiens) we find aren't that fuzzy.

And if you clean up the Neanderthals to give them the same amount of body hair that we have, they look surprisingly ... well... modern.

The "hairy human" was originally drawn to imply that these earlier humans were more "savage" or more "primitive" than we are today. However, this is artistic license.

The earliest hominids (Australopithecus and before) may have had very little body hair.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
The lice and the wading have been mentioned before -- and let me tell you this can be a reat hot topic among paleontologists.

Truth is, we don't know HOW much hair our ancestors had. They are DRAWN as hairy, but there's no real evidence that they had any more body hair than what we see now. The mummies (almost all homo sapiens) we find aren't that fuzzy.

And if you clean up the Neanderthals to give them the same amount of body hair that we have, they look surprisingly ... well... modern.

The "hairy human" was originally drawn to imply that these earlier humans were more "savage" or more "primitive" than we are today. However, this is artistic license.

The earliest hominids (Australopithecus and before) may have had very little body hair.

Maybe you should check out a Persian Man in the locker room, most of the ones I've ever seen give the gorillas a run for their money!



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 04:55 PM
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Thanks for all replies.

Seapeople, yes I had sat and thought about it before asking.


I don't see that the lice idea really works as other species have lice and survive as we still do ourselves.

The wading issue is interesting. I'm sure I've read somewhere about the hair pattern/direction of human hair on the torso being more similar to aquatic mammals rather than apes but wouldn't there be other corresponding genetic evidence like fat layers if water temperature was an issue as proposed above.

And we'd have to spend a great deal of time in the water meaning our direct ancestors depended soley on seafood for survival and I've never seen any evidence of that.

I'm sure we all accept evolutionary theory so it's fair to say that we once did have hair as most mammals do.

My view is that sexual preference was possibly the main factor.

To survive with less hair meant clothing which equals intelligence.

I think this is the first sign that woman find intelligent men attractive.

[edit on 21-12-2004 by John bull 1]




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