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coat of hair that functions primarily as insulation, but different patterns of hair coloration can serve in communication or camouflage


modified hairs sometimes called whiskers that serve as tactile receptors

sebaceous gland

secretes oil to keep hair supple and somewhat waterproof, each hair follicle has its own

arrector pilli

muscle associated with each individual hair; allows the mammal to raise its hairs for insulation or as a threat


a thickening of the epidermis that pushes into the dermis to create a follicle that has a root that nourished by blood vessels allowing the hair to grow


hair that is evergrowing


hair that reaches a certain length and stop growing

guard hairs

serve mainly as protection, and may be highly modified for this purpose


large, stiff, guard hairs with definitive growth used mainly in predator defense


found on many spines and allow the spine to lodge in the predator's skin and make it very difficult to remove


function primarily for insulation


when hair is shed and replaced periodically

annual molt

once a year, hairs are replaced in a short period of time

seasonal molt

occurs more than one time a year


pigment that produces blacks and browns in hair


pigment that produces reds and yellows in hair

white hair

results from complete lack of pigment

agouti hair

black tip followed by bands of phiomelanin and eumelanin

cryptic coloration

allows mammals to blend with their environment

disruptive coloration

obscures body contures and allow animal to mimic patterns of shade and light (often in the form of strips and spots)


ventral surface is lighter in color than dorsal surface that serves to blur the animal's outline when seen from above

aposematic coloration

serves to warn that they are dangerous or distasteful

sweat glands

function to promote cooling and rid body of some waste products

scent glands

used for attracting mates, marking territories, communication during social interactions, or protection

mammary glands

highly modified sweat glands that secrete milk for nursing young

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