It shouldn’t come as a surprise when we spot some hairless animals either in captivity or in the wild. Humans tend to anticipate and experience specific hair loss as they get older.
Animals also have hair, and it is safe to say that this is a biological feature that makes recognizing them very easy.
Many of us don’t wait for nature to rid us of our hair as we shave it off ourselves.
As nature would have it, some hairless animals around the world should be accorded recognition.
These animals went against their species’ traditions and developed or grew without hair on their bodies or their head.
Below is a list of some hairless animals, from common house pets to animals in the wild:
1. African Elephant
The first on the list of hairless animals is the African elephant. This is the world’s largest land creature, but it’s been noticed that the massive creature has little to no hair.
It is suspected that this trait was developed to help the animal adapt to its hot and dry habitat. This is especially true since this gigantic hairless animal dissipates heat than retains it.
Studies have also shown that African elephants lose more hair as they grow bigger.
While hair helps many animals stay insulated, some semi-aquatic animals like the walrus have developed subcutaneous fat layers. The fat of this majestic hairless animal is very thick that hair is nearly irrelevant.
Aside from their noticeable whiskers, walruses are wrapped in reddish-brown fur that is so short that you’d assume they are naked.
3. Hairless Dogs
The hairless animal list won’t be complete if some hairless dogs are not acknowledged.
Some of these dogs include the Mexican hairless dog, the Chinese-crested dog, and the American hairless terrier.
However, many other variations of hairless dogs are yet to be officially recognized.
Hairless dogs are common animals because they are hypoallergenic, and owners do not have to worry about shedding.
Notwithstanding, this doesn’t mean that the absence of hair on these dogs means they require jackets in cold seasons or sunscreens in hot weather.
A Sphynx is either creepy or adorable, depending on who is looking at them. Its hairlessness easily characterizes this cat, and it’s all thanks to adventurous breeders, not evolution or mythology.
Since these cats are classified as mammals, they aren’t entirely hairless. This hairless animal is covered in tiny hair that is very hard to notice.
Sphynxes are considered lovable pets, despite their untraditional appearance. They are renowned for their extroverted dispositions, increased energy levels, enthusiasm, and love. Additionally, similar to hairless dogs, Sphynx also does not shed.
Cetaceans are the largest collection of hairless mammals consisting of porpoises, whales, and dolphins. This is understandable since hair isn’t needed to survive in water.
These hairless sea creatures can remain insulated due to the presence of a very thick layer of fat under their skin.
As fetuses, all cetaceans have hair on their heads that clears off as they grow. Nonetheless, some species like the bowhead whale don’t fall in this category. This marine mammal has hair on its snout, chin, lips, and behind its blowhole.
6. Skinny Pig
The name given to the breed of furless guinea pigs is “skinny pigs.” They vary little from the regular guinea pig, except that they are almost hairless. The little evidence of hair they possess can be noticed on their muzzles, feet, and legs.
The name “skinny pig” isn’t given because they are thinner than your average guinea pigs. The name was given because of how exposed their skin is.
Initially bred in laboratories – mostly for dermatological purposes – skinny pigs have since become a favorite among many pet-lovers.
7. Naked Mole-Rat
The naked mole-rat, true to its name, is another hairless animal. It can easily be identified by its folded, pinkish-grey, and almost translucent skin.
Studies have proven that the naked mole-rat is the only mammal that doesn’t modulate its body temperature. The rat takes on its surrounding temperature.
Also, naked mole-rats lack pain receptors in their skin. It is believed that this trait was developed due to their overexposure to carbon dioxide and their burrowing lifestyle.
Additionally, these hairless animals are the only eusocial mammals. They share similar social structures with insects like bees and ants.
Hippotamus are hairless for the exact reason other semi-aquatic and fully aquatic mammals have no hair. Technically, only fat is needed to help this large beast stay insulated while it spends most of its time in the water.
However, the lack of hair causes hippos to become vulnerable to sunlight, making them produce a light-absorbing material that serves as a natural sunscreen.
It is noteworthy that while the hippos are related to pigs and other even-toed ungulates, the hairless animal is more related to present-day cetaceans.
These mostly hairless animals, also referred to as deer-pigs, are part of Indonesia’s pig family. Apart from their almost-bare skin, the babirusa is known mainly for their double pairs of teeth. The upper pair is especially noticeable because they grow out of the snout.
The teeth growing out of the snout can extend backward enough to puncture the skull of this hairless animal if it fails to grind them short.
The babirusa is so weird-looking that many Indonesian locals have made demonic masks inspired by animals.
Mother nature indeed works in mysterious ways. There is a lot we humans don’t know about yet, but we are rediscovering secrets. These are secrets that either present themselves to us, or we go in search of them ourselves.