Subject: Hair

Lori Mazzuca (
Fri, 16 May 1997 08:23:08 -1000 (HST)

Dear Kathy,
	Thank you for your question, do whales have hair?  Yes.  That is
one of the things that make them a mammal.  To be classified as a mammal
a mammal must give live birth, nurse their young, breathe air, be warm
blooded, and have hair. Even though they have evolved to become
streamlined, thus losing their hair, whales and dolphins are born with
hair.  Believe it or not they are born with facial hair--like whiskers.
Early on, the calf will lose the whiskers but the hair follicle will
remain.  On a dolphin you can see the white spots along their rostrum.  On
a right whale the white patches called "callosities" occur where hair
follicles are present.  These whales often appear to have mustaches,
eyebrows, beards, and even side-burns.  On a humpback whale there are
knobs or bumps on it's head called "tubercles."  These tubercles are
actually the hair follicle.
	I hope this helps.  Have fun!

On Fri, 16 May 1997, Kathy Burkett wrote:

> Do whales have hair? If so, where is it and what is it like? If not, are 
> they the only set of mammals that don't? (Maybe dolphins, too?)
> This question came up because I'm working on a lesson for gr. 1-3 that 
> compares Minke whales and great white sharks. Right now, I'm planning to 
> point out that sharks have lateral lines and electroreceptors, and that 
> this shark has teeth. For the Minke whale, I'll highlight the lungs and 
> blowhole, as well as the baleen. I'll also have the teacher talk about 
> how whales are mammal and sharks are fish, and that whale skeletons are 
> bone while shark skeletons are cartilage. Is there anything else that 
> seems missing from my list?
> Many thanks!
> Kathy Burkett