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Author Topic:   Is body hair a functionless vestige?
nwr
Member
Posts: 6181
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 38 of 143 (560447)
05-15-2010 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Ken Fabos
05-15-2010 7:18 AM


Re: Anyone disagree that body hair has sensory function?
Ken Fabos writes:
I'm arguing that body hair is more sensitive than bare, hairless skin and hairs can sense insects that bare skin cannot.
I agree with that. It greatly helps me avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
Ken Fabos writes (in Message 1):
I believe it's widely overlooked and I'm interested in how so many people, who live constantly with the sensory input these humble mechano-receptors provide, can fail to consider that function relevant to discussions on the evolution that led to our current (relative and variable) state of sparse hair cover, rather than fur covered, skin.
While I agree that the sensory function of body hairs is useful, I seriously doubt that it is useful enough for that to have been significant in the evolution of our species.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Ken Fabos, posted 05-15-2010 7:18 AM Ken Fabos has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Ken Fabos, posted 05-15-2010 7:41 PM nwr has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6181
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 40 of 143 (560536)
05-15-2010 8:42 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Ken Fabos
05-15-2010 7:41 PM


Re: Anyone disagree that body hair has sensory function?
Ken Fabos writes:
I think that in order to assess the relative advantages and disadvantages in an evolutionary fitness sense this function needs due consideration. If you know of any articles, papers or discussions that give the sensory function of hairs due consideration I would like to know.
This isn't anything that I have gone out of my way to study, so I don't know of any articles.
There is a lot of variability between people over the amount of body hair, and that variability argues against it being of evolutionary significance.
Ken Fabos writes:
The fine hairs on face around eyes and on outer ears are particularly sensitive to small intrusions and help prevent damage to those vital organs.
In my case, I am inclined to think that the sensitivity of the skin in those regions is sufficient protection against insects. Where I mainly benefit is on the arms and legs where there is less skin sensitivity and the sensitivity of the hairs is what alerts me to mosquitoes and other insects.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Ken Fabos, posted 05-15-2010 7:41 PM Ken Fabos has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Ken Fabos, posted 05-18-2010 6:39 PM nwr has seen this message but not replied

  
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