Why do we grow more hair on our heads than on our bodies?

Humans are the oddballs of the mammalian class. Hippos and naked mole rats aside, nearly every other mammal has fur covering its body. Humans are practically naked, besides the hair on our heads. So why are people mostly hairless apart from our head hair?

First, it’s crucial to understand why mammals have fur in the first place, said Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. Fur keeps animals warm when it’s cold at night and protects them from the sun during the day. Human ancestors were able to lose most of their body hair because they had the unique ability to compensate with fire, shelter and clothing.

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