The evolutionary advantage of being hairy

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 28, 2011 11:53 PM GMT
    Remember that next time when you had a bug bite.
    http://www.economist.com/node/21541808The standard “lab rat” for this sort of experiment is the university student, and Ms Dean and Dr Siva-Jothy managed to recruit 29 eager volunteers for their study—19 men and ten women. Each had a patch of skin on one arm shaved, marked with a pen and surrounded by petroleum jelly (to fence the bed bugs in), and a commensurate patch on the other marked and surrounded, but not shaved.

    It was then time to get the bed bugs out. The bugs in question had been fed a week previously, and then starved, so they were eager to eat. Volunteers were asked to look away while a researcher put a bug on one of the skin patches. The volunteer was then supposed to record, using a press-button counter, the number of times he perceived the insect moving on his skin.

    The difference was significant. When the bug was on a hairy patch it was detected, on average, every four seconds. When it was on a shaved patch, more than ten seconds elapsed between detections. Moreover, the bugs seemed to find it harder to locate a good spot to bite when they were surrounded by hair. Though no volunteer was actually bitten, because the vigilance of the watching researcher meant the insects were removed when they extended their probosces prior to biting, bugs on hairy skin took about a fifth longer than those on shaved skin to attempt to bite their hosts.
  • LifeByTheHorn

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    Dec 29, 2011 1:14 AM GMT
    Guys are more fit to live in the wild, in some ways.
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    Dec 29, 2011 1:17 AM GMT
    Being naturally extra-hairy but commonly shaven, I can vouch that it's easier to feel bugs crawling when you have hair.

    However, it's easier to pick up hot guys when you're smooth. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 29, 2011 1:18 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidBeing naturally extra-hairy but commonly shaven, I can vouch that it's easier to feel bugs crawling when you have hair.

    However, it's easier to pick up hot guys when you're smooth. icon_biggrin.gif

    ShitIDon'tCareAbout: When a guy would rather see me smooth.
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    Dec 29, 2011 1:21 AM GMT
    TrevorMark said
    paulflexes saidBeing naturally extra-hairy but commonly shaven, I can vouch that it's easier to feel bugs crawling when you have hair.

    However, it's easier to pick up hot guys when you're smooth. icon_biggrin.gif

    ShitIDon'tCareAbout: When a guy would rather see me smooth.
    ShitiCareAbout: When I see a woolly mammoth in the mirror.
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    Dec 29, 2011 5:26 AM GMT
    It's sort of overkill... after I find one tick crawling up my leg, I lay awake all night feeling zillions of false alarms.

    About once a year, my body hair gets so long and scraggly, it starts feeling intolerable. One morning, i'll look in he mirror and... aaaigh! Get this shit off me!

    In fact, i was just thinking that the new year is a good time to be smooth as a baby's butt. And get laid.
  • dancedancekj

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    Dec 29, 2011 5:33 AM GMT
    Apparently, there is a hypothesis that states humans were selected for hairlessness to decrease the transmission of parasites between individuals in a group (most modern ectoparasites are confined mostly to the head and pubic regions). Therefore, while a single individual may have been conferred with evolutionary resistance to being bit, as a whole the pack was at a greater disadvantage if they were hairier than the next.

    There's also several other theories regarding hairlessness, including thermoregulation, UV absorption, and the aquatic ape theory icon_razz.gif
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    Dec 29, 2011 5:43 AM GMT
    'It was then time to get the bed bugs out. The bugs in question had been fed a week previously, and then starved, so they were eager to eat.'

    pest control guy here.. bedbugs can go 6 months between feedings.. wouldn't necessarily be hungry after a week unless the researchers had the bugs doing a cardio workout or somethin
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    Dec 29, 2011 5:45 AM GMT
    I like em hairy, but I don't mind em shaven. icon_smile.gif
  • mynyun

    Posts: 1346

    Dec 29, 2011 5:46 AM GMT
    likewatuc saidI like em hairy, but I don't mind em shaven. icon_smile.gif


    Yeah.
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    Dec 29, 2011 5:56 AM GMT
    Some bugs latch on to hair follicles. Fleas, ticks, mites, etc.
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    Dec 29, 2011 6:05 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidBeing naturally extra-hairy but commonly shaven, I can vouch that it's easier to feel bugs crawling when you have hair.

    However, it's easier to pick up hot guys when you're smooth. icon_biggrin.gif


    Let's see the hair. We'll be the judge for you....
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    Dec 29, 2011 7:06 AM GMT
    Interesting study. I've heard that body hair on males act as an early detection system for mosquitoes, leading to a reduced risk of contracting malaria.

    Sidebar: hair=sexy for meicon_smile.gif
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:35 PM GMT
    And then there is LICE! icon_neutral.gif
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    Dec 30, 2011 1:03 AM GMT
    I like them shaved, and I like them hairy. No hairy backs though.
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    Dec 30, 2011 1:06 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    TrevorMark said
    paulflexes saidBeing naturally extra-hairy but commonly shaven, I can vouch that it's easier to feel bugs crawling when you have hair.

    However, it's easier to pick up hot guys when you're smooth. icon_biggrin.gif

    ShitIDon'tCareAbout: When a guy would rather see me smooth.
    ShitiCareAbout: When I see a woolly mammoth in the mirror.

    I'm not a wooly mammoth, I just hate my back hair.
  • LaxJock16

    Posts: 784

    Dec 30, 2011 1:12 AM GMT
    I would say sure pheromones travel and linger with hair, but so does bacteria... bald men get less sick than guys with hair on their head but to each his own... this will be very lopsided... MuchMoreThanMuscle is a hot man and he doesn't have a fur coat... it really is you agree if you like fur and disagree if you don't.
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    Dec 30, 2011 1:17 AM GMT
    I had a BF with a moderately hairy chest. Regardless of its evolutionary advantages, all I can say is that when we slow-danced with our shirts off, my face was buried in his fur and I was in Heaven. That's all the advantage I needed to know. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 30, 2011 5:10 AM GMT
    if that so, then i'm a missing shackle of a hairyless specie... xD