Thursday, April 2, 2009
Hair loss in marine mammals
Hair and fat are the ways that nature insulates both land and sea mammals. Both fat and hair keep the body from losing precious heat during either the colder months or living in colder seas. For sea mammals they either have long hair or extra fat, known as blubber, to insulate their bodies from losing heat.
The larger the sea mammal the less hair they tend to have. Whales and dolphins have very minimal hair while sea otters have plenty of hair. Hair loss in the smaller marine mammals can spell death from exposure. When a large population of marine mammals is suffering from excessive hair loss something is either wrong with the environment or a disease might be the cause. Marine biologists must work fast to see what the underlying cause it and best determine what hair loss treatment to put in place. Can the cause be removed or should the mammals be treated?
Sometimes the cause has been in the environment for years and only time and future prevention can cure the ailment.