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A naked ape would have fewer parasites

Abstract:

Unusually among the mammals, humans lack an outer layer of protective fur or hair. We propose the hypothesis that humans evolved hairlessness to reduce parasite loads, especially ectoparasites that may carry disease. We suggest that hairlessness is maintained by these naturally selected benefits and by sexual selection operating on both sexes. Hairlessness is made possible in humans owing to their unique abilities to regulate their environment via fire, shelter and clothing. Clothes and shelt...

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Publication status:
Published

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Institution:
University of Oxford
Department:
Oxford, MSD, Oncology, Weatherall Insti. of Molecular Medicine
Role:
Author
Journal:
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume:
270
Issue:
SUPPL. 1
Publication date:
2003-08-18
EISSN:
1471-2970
ISSN:
0962-8452
URN:
uuid:b8cd1253-354f-4c11-a359-8d695f017c31
Source identifiers:
178172
Local pid:
pubs:178172

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