Lucy’s pelt: when we became hairless and how we managed to survive

  title={Lucy’s pelt: when we became hairless and how we managed to survive},
  author={Alfredo E Rebora},
  journal={International Journal of Dermatology},
  • A. Rebora
  • Published 1 January 2010
  • Biology
  • International Journal of Dermatology
Excluding a few areas, the whole human body is covered by hair, and even apparently glabrous skin is in fact full of thin and short hairs (vellus hairs). Still, man is alone among the 193 species of primates to look glabrous. Human ‘‘nakedness’’ was a popular topic about 40 years ago, when a successful book was published, but it has been poorly debated thereafter. In this essay, I will try to discuss the various hypotheses that have been proposed and to advance a new one. I like to emphasize… 
3 Citations
Human fine body hair enhances ectoparasite detection
The results show that fine body hair enhances the detection of ectoparasites through the combined effects of increasing the parasite's search time and enhancing its detection.


Ancient adaptations of human skin: why do we retain sebaceous and apocrine glands?
  • O. Lupi
  • Biology
    International journal of dermatology
  • 2008
Human evolution has been characterized by a marked decrease in body hair and an increase in the importance of pigment in the naked epidermis as a shield against the harmful effects of solar
A naked ape would have fewer parasites
  • M. Pagel, W. Bodmer
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2003
The hypothesis that humans evolved hairlessness to reduce parasite loads, especially ectoparasites that may carry disease is proposed and explains features of human hairlessness—such as the marked sex difference in body hair, and its retention in the pubic regions—that are not explained by other theories.
Evolution of nakedness in Homo sapiens
A number of hypotheses have been proposed to account for Homo sapiens L. sapiens lacking in functionally effective thermally insulating fur, and these are presented in the light of current empirical evidence and discussion.
Allometry of primate hair density and the evolution of human hairlessness.
It is proposed that, lacking a reflective coat of hair, the exploitation of eccrine sweating emerged as the primary mechanism for adaptation to the increased heat leads of man's new environment and permitted further reduction of the remnant coat to its present vestigial condition.
Cutaneous comparative biology.
There is an inverse relation between the richness of pelage and the thickness and complexity of epidermal undersurface of the epidermis.
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
I.IF Mr. Darwin had closed his rich series of contributions to Science by the publication of the “Origin of Species,“he would have made an epoch in Natural History like that which Socrates made in