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Re: DOWNY STEGOSAURS (WAS: Re: Feathers on Bloody Everything)

>1. Is it the aquatic nature of the hippo that leads to hairlessnes, or
>the hot African sun? (Benefice of a thick blubbery hide combined with
>short, bristly, or sparse hair---but are we talking about some pigs,

Don't forget that the Pygmy Hippo is also almost hairless - it is far less
aquatic than the common species, and lives in rainforests where there is
lots of shade.  The same can be said for rhinos, which are also largely
hairless (except for the smallest species, the Sumatran).  I suspect body
size and surface-volume ratio have a lot to do with this.

>2. Does a heavy coat better protect a rhino from marauding hyenas and
>lions, or does a thick, armor-like hide? (And when the hide is that
>thick, does hair then become redundant or useless?)

Remember that sheer size protects adult rhinos, probably better than their
hide does.

Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@home.com