Johannesburg – For 300 years, scientists have pondered an evolutionary riddle: why is it that elephants have hair?

The bristly hairs that cover the world’s largest mammal are too few to keep it warm – and besides, who needs warmth in Africa and Asia? Could it be that the hair on an elephant has no purpose whatsoever?

Now three scientists believe they have the answer.

The elephant’s thin coat of hair is not there to keep it warm, it is there to cool it down.

The scientists from Princeton university came to this conclusion after a three-year study that included examining close-up photographs of tame African elephants in Botswana, computer programs and mathematical formulae.

Read more at IoL ScienceTech

Published On: October 18, 2012

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