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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Why are humans without a fur?

A recent Dutch newspaper article had an intriguing question: why did humans lose their fur? The inherent assumption that humans once had a fur is also intriguing. Hairless animals and furry humans are both a rare exception (eg, BuzzFeed, Invorma and National Geographic). Wiki: "Hypertrichosis is an abnormal amount of hair growth over the [human] body".

NYT-2003: "One of the most distinctive evolutionary changes as humans parted company from their fellow apes was their loss of body hair. But why and when human body hair disappeared, together with the matter of when people first started to wear clothes, are questions that have long lain beyond the reach of archaeology and paleontology."

The reasons for having a fur are usually clear: a fur protects against the (equatorial) UV sunlight (eg, melanoma, skin cancer) and/or the (polar) cold. Mammals living in water - like dolphins, walruses and whales - lack a fur to reduce their weight and improve their speed. Animals without a fur often have thick skins to protect against UV sunlight and/or the cold (eg, elephants, hippopotamus, rhinoceroses).

In the absence of a clear explanation for humans, scientists came up with some wild ideas. NYT-2003: "Humans lost their body hair, they say, to free themselves of external parasites that infest fur -- blood-sucking lice, fleas and ticks and the diseases they spread." SA: "The aquatic-ape hypothesis suggests that six million to eight million years ago apelike ancestors of modern humans had a semiaquatic lifestyle based on foraging for food in shallow waters."

There is no evidence that the Neanderthal were furry (eg, Daily KosPopular ScienceQuora, Wiki) although some believe they were (eg, Peter Frost's blog). The articles in NYT-2003Daily Kos-2014, and BBC-2016 all claim that humans lost their fur between 1 million and 1,2 million years ago. That would be well before the Neanderthal (c. 800,000 - 40,000 years ago).

The timing of 1.2 million years is circumstantial: (i) "a variant of the MC1R gene, which is known to be important for darker skin colour, was already present 1.2 million years ago", (ii) "the evolution of the lice that sometimes infest our hair. Different species live in our pubic hair and head hair, and the researchers found that the two diverged 1.18 million years ago." (BBC)

The leading scientific hypothesis assumes that the Homo species descend from (other) primates (eg, apes, monkeys). There is little reason to dispute that. There is, however, still a missing link between these Homo species and the current Homo sapiens

Sumerian clay tablet history (c. 5000 BC - 2000 BC) may provide this missing link. The Anunnaki, their alien gods, engineered Homo sapiens through fertilising sperm of the Homo species with alien Anunnaki egg cells, as they needed male workers in their African gold mines (eg, Phys). Subsequently, the female version (Eve) was created from the male version, Adapa a.k.a. Adam, to overcome the infertility issue caused by the hybrid version.

Stand and Deliver (1981) by Adam & The Ants - artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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