We’ve all had bad hair days, but porcupines have strange hair days! They’ve cleverly converted the hair on their backs into a bristle of quills. When they’re chilling out, the quills lay flat; but if they’re feeling a bit spiky, then the quills stand up, ready for action. One touch will result in a prickly problem and as the quills have barbs, they go in real easy, but won’t be coming out in a hurry.. In fact their hair style is so cool that hedgehogs and echidnas have copied it too..
Swimming can play havoc with your hair, which is probably why whales and dolphins decided to ditch their tresses long ago in favour of smooth streamlined skin. The only problem this poses is how to keep warm in the chilly depths without a fur coat around you? Simple! a mighty thick layer of blubber under the skin will do the trick, keeping you snug in the icy waters. The blubber will also help you stay afloat too – and who said fat was bad??
Nature doesn’t bless us all with luscious locks, as the hairless skinny pig knows only too well. This strain of guinea pig was definitely at the back of the queue when fur was being given out. It has a mere whisper of fur around its nose and toes, but is otherwise bald as a coot – at least they don’t have to spend hours at the hair salon!
Why have one coat of fur, when you can have two? That’s the view of the most hirsute bovine, the highland cattle. Coat number one is a warm, downy layer next to their skin and coat number two is a chunky thick, well-oiled blanket to keep even the extremist of elements at bay. They carry off that shaggy chic look and can claim to have the longest hair of any cows around.
Ever been to the hairdressers clutching a photograph of a longed-for hairstyle? Komondore dogs (aka Hungarian sheep dogs) must’ve taken in a picture of a sheep, because their mop of white, curly fur definitely gives them that ovine look – ideal when you want to blend into the flock. Their snowy dreadlocks help to keep out the cold and well betide any pesty predators who mistake them for a lamb supper!
Often it takes a little while to grow an impressive hairstyle, but the spotted apatelode caterpillar was born with a blistering array of hairs. Its yellow/white fluffy mop doubles as protection too – annoy it and it will shed those little irritating little hairs, which give a nasty itch, sending you hurrying off to look for the antihistamine.
Do you confess to spending a small fortune on hair thickening products? That’s something the sea otter definitely doesn’t need. These marine mammals have the thickest fur of all – as they like to keep a trim figure, they’ve ditched the fatty blubber and opted for the ultimate bouffant instead. Beauty does have its price though, because they have to spend lots and lots of time grooming their pelts to perfection – puffing them up to trap air to insulate them from the icy aqua.
Looking for a change of hair do? How about a new colour to really enhance your tresses? The artic hare gets a new hue to go with the seasons. Summer fashion is mottled shades of greys and browns to give that warm natural look. Winter fashion is a polar white for that all over fresh as the driven snow vibe.
When it comes to bright and bold colours, fur doesn’t really feature – mammals prefer to go for that understated look; but there are a few who like to play with tones – zebras make a bold choice with their black and white stripped coats and panda bears also favour a monochrome mantle. The red fox prefers to stick to a more solid colour rocking it as a redhead. Tigers choose a weave of oranges, blacks and whites for that multitonal style.
We all long for hair that’s soft and smooth to the touch – the more hairs the better, but, the trouble is we can only manage 1 or 2 per follicle. Chinchillas, however, can boast up to 100, making them the very smoothest operators around.
Definitely a cut above the rest…
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