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RE: Giant mammal hair (was Re: DOWNY STEGOSAURS)



AND, let us not forget that OUR nearest relatives are all much hairier than
we & one (the Gorilla) can be considerably larger.

You know, hairiness or furriness is also good insulation against heat.  With
many mammals there is an undercoat & moisture dissipation actually helps
cool the animal off.  

Dwight 

        -----Original Message-----
        From:   Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. [SMTP:th81@umail.umd.edu]
        Sent:   Wednesday, October 14, 1998 8:20 AM
        To:     ornstn@home.com
        Cc:     dinosaur@usc.edu
        Subject:        Giant mammal hair (was Re: DOWNY STEGOSAURS)


        Let's also remember that recently extinct members of at least two
large
        mammal lineages, elephantids and rhinoceratids, were pretty darn
hairy:
        _Mammuthus_ and _Coelodonta_, respectively.  And, lest we think that
hairy
        multi-tonne mammals are strictly mammoth-steppe inhabitants, there
are also
        the tropical giant ground sloths to consider.

        Out knowledge of the distribution of hairiness vs. hairlessness in
        large-bodied mammals is sorely hindered by the fact we are looking
at a VERY
        recently depauperate fauna.

        (Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
        Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
        Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
        University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
        College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661