MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Which mammel has a natural sun-burn lotion? Thanks

Date: Mon Dec 11 12:16:47 2000
Posted By: Andrea Bixler, Asst. Professor, Biology
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 976399223.Zo

Jeff, it's a hippopotamus!  According to _The Encyclopedia of 
Mammals_ edited by David Mcdonald, hippos have very unusual skin.  
The epidermis (outer layer of skin) is very thin, without much cornified 
tissue (that's the rougher outer covering that sloughs off when you 
really scrub your skin or when your skin is dry; in us, it helps prevent 
water loss).  In hippos, having this very thin skin means they lose a 
lot of moisture through their skin if they're out of the water.  Another 
difference in their skin is the lack of sweat glands and sebaceous 
glands.  However, they have a different type of gland that secretes a 
pink fluid.  This shields them from ultraviolet radiation and reduces 
sunburn.  People used to think that hippos "sweat blood" because of 
the pink color of the sunscreen secretion, but the color is actually due 
to the same sort of pigments that cause tanning in us.

For other interesting and amazing mammals, check out  http://w


Current Queue | Current Queue for Zoology | Zoology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Zoology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2000. All rights reserved.