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> Some have said that these hairless tails may assist in temperature
> regulation in hot regions, by serving as radiators of excess heat
It's my belief that the naked tail _did_ evolve as a climbing aid, and I guess
more terrestrial murids (e.g. brown rats - less apt to climb than many other
species) have retained it as it still comes in handy.
But this issue of heat loss is an interesting area, as such small endotherms
have evolved fantastic methods to control their body temperature. My favourite
is the coital ultrasonic scream made by male brown rats to avoid over-heating
during copulation! I shall say no more!
"You're an animal!"
"Worse - - human!"