How come male lions have hair while female lions are bald? Was there a mistake in their evolution?
- Anonymous5 months agoBest answer
All lions have short hair. They are not bald. Being bald is not a mistake. Whales are bald, for example, and so are some seals. The reason whales evolved no hair is that hair is mainly for insulation, by trapping air. Air is a good insulator. Since there is no way for whales to keep their hair from getting wet, they have no use for hair, since wet fur does not insulate. So, it is much better to lose fur than to keep it. Similarly hippos have no use for hair since they stay in the water most of the time, and besides, because of their large size, they do not lose heat to the environment as easy as small animals, since large animals have proportionally less body surface per cubic inch of volume. Hippos also live in a hot climate and losing body heat is the least of their problems. Sea otters do have a lot of fur and it keeps them warm but they have to groom their fur frequently to keep them from getting wet.
Lions have short hair and it serves them well, since they live in a hot climate. Short fur means they cannot overheat as easily. Other animals that live in the same habitat as lions, such as zebras, elephants, rhinos, and wildebeests, either have very short hair or they are nearly hairless. Male lions have manes because their main job is to protect their territory. The manes help them when they fight with other lions, by giving them a psychological advantage. It makes them look bigger and the fur partially protect them physically when they are in a fight, as it is a barrier between skin and the claws and teeth of another lion. Females do most of their hunting, so they are better off without the mane because the mane prevents them from losing excessive body heat. A lion can easily overheat because of the hot climate they live in.
- Atarah DerekLv 75 months ago
They both have hair. Male lions develop a large mass of long fur around their heads and necks because they are social animals in a patriarchal pride structure. The mane helps them appear larger and more intimidating to rival males. In areas where prides are so small as to be practically nonexistent, and not all of them have a male, maneless male lions are more common.
- Elaine MLv 75 months ago
It's called sexual selection -- the males manes impress the females and help them chose a mater based on that.
Same as the size of the spot on the throat of English sparrows, the larger the dark patch the more testosterone the male has.
Or the peacock's tail, the female doesn't have that kind of tail feather structure.
Or the horns on male deer.
Or the color of some reptiles in the male.
It all helps the female select which male they want to mate with.
- MARKLv 75 months ago
Lionesses are not bald. They are covered in hair. You may have wanted to ask about lions' manes, but that is a different question.
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- keerokLv 75 months ago
Both male and female lions have hair. Male lions have a mane while females don't. It's not a mistake. The mane makes the male lion look bigger and more imposing, a trait female lions would want their offspring to inherit to make sure of the survival of their genes. Besides, a bigger looking male lion would scare other potential attackers of the pride.
- DixonLv 75 months ago
It is probably part of sexual selection by females although it may have started as an advantage in fighting other males for control of a pride. Both these things are aspects of evolution that weren't initially part of the theory but it is clear this sort of thing could emerge, given the broad mechanism of evolution and its undirected variations.
- LônLv 75 months ago
Female lions DO have fur...they just don't have a mane!
- 5 months ago
The mane is to protect their necks from fighting.
- Anonymous5 months ago
Male lions have a mane.