As you may know, dolphins are mammals . One of the defining characteristics of all mammal species is that they have hair on their bodies. But, what about dolphins? With their smooth streamlined shapes, it doesn’t look like they have any hair at all – do dolphins have hair? In fact, when dolphins are born, you can actually find a few stray hairs poking out of their chin. But soon after birth these hairs will fall out and all you will be able to see are hair follicles which are tiny pockmarks that the hair used to grow out of. Some of the larger whales have hair that stays with them their entire lives. Humpback whales have distinctive bumps on their lower and upper jaw from which tiny hairs protrude. These hairs may actually help humpback whales to sense things in their environment, much like a cat’s whiskers. Dolphins don’t really need hair to survive: they can keep themselves warm with a toasty layer of fat under their skin (called blubber). Having no hair on their bodies makes it easier for them to swim in water. This is the same reason that Olympic swimmers tend to shave all the hair off of their bodies. Less hair equals less drag which means an easier time chasing after fish! Well, for the dolphins anyway… I don’t know if Olympic swimmers spend too much time chasing fish …
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