Hair on Mammals

From: Kim Marshall (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Fri Dec 13 2002 - 16:21:37 EST

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    Question:
    Do whales have hair? I say all mammals have hair. My teacher says he doesn't
    know. Can you help me out. Thank you
    Cory,7th grader

    Reply:
    Dear Cory,
    Yes, whales have hair and yes all mammals have hair. The hair found on
    whales (and small whales like dolphins) is most apparent when they are born.
    The hair is located on the body similarly to whiskers on a dog or cat or
    facial hair in humans. Each hair is very course it is believed to have a
    sensory function, also like whiskers.

    Along with mammals having hair, they also must breathe air. Humans are
    involuntary breathers but whales are voluntary breathers, they must think
    about every breath. They give birth to live young and suckle their young.
    They are also warm blooded, in fact their blood temperature is only a couple
    of degrees different than ours.

    I hope this information is helpful.
    Happy Holidays!!

    Kim

    Kim Marshall
    Executive Director
    Ocean Alliance (Whale Conservation Inst. & the Voyage of the Odyssey)
    191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA 01773
    781.259.0423 ext. 14 fax 259.0288
    www.oceanalliance.org www.pbs.org/odyssey
    Please support our efforts to conserve whales and their ocean environment
    through research and education :)



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