ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hairy Animals

Updated on November 14, 2017

Things that are rare, or different from what is considered "normal", always attracts interest. For example, hair or feathers that are longer than is usual in their species, or grows in unusual places, or unusual ways. The following are some examples of animals, and people, who are bit hairier than the norm--sometimes for reasons we know and understand, and sometimes quite mysteriously.

Also known as:

  • Hypertrichosis
  • Hirsutism

Wild Animals

Gazelle

Paolo Torchio photographed an antelope with an unusually hairy coat. It appears to be a young female Thomson's gazelle and it was located in the Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya). And in 2010 Robert Berntsen later photographed the same animal again.

The cause of its condition is not known but it can be generically described as having hypertrichosis (excessive hair).It has been suggested that this might be symptomatic of Cushings disease.

Source

Domestic Animals

Many domestic species have naturally occurring long-haired forms, which may be selectively perpetuated as 'long-hair' or 'angora' breeds. Sometimes these breeds have been around long enough that it is easy to forget that their species is not naturally long haired (e.g. cats, gerbils, teddy bear hamster).

Birds

"Featherduster" Birds

Various bird species such as budgies and parakeets (shown right) sometimes produce birds whose feathers are long, curly and constantly growing. This condition (colloquially called "Feather Duster" for obvious reasons) is caused by a recessive gene whose action causes the mechanisms controlling feather growth are inactivated. Some argue that feather duster birds should be euthanized as their feathers can impede their movements and they often have a shortened lifespan, equally it can be argued that those with the resources to care for accidental occurrences of this mutation should feel free to do so. However it is not a trait that should be bred for deliberately.

The Phoenix Rooster

Some breeds of chicken have been bred for amazing long tail feathers: for example the Japanese Yokohama and Onagadori and the related European Phoenix rooster.

Phoenix rooster and hen
Phoenix rooster and hen | Source

Dogs

Across all dog breed there are only three genes that control hair length.

Gibbon

Hypertrichosis, involving growth of hair on the face, has been described in a gibbon.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs comes in several long-hair varieties. The short-haired version is often referred to as "American" and the long-haired varieties as as Peruvian and Sheltie (a.k.a. Silkie).

Horses

Cushings Disease

In older horses over-growth of the coat may be caused by hyperadrenocorticism, also called Cushings disease, or by other conditions that ause disruption of normal pituitary function. For other examples of Cushing's curly coat see: Palimino.(In other animals such as dogs, Cushing's disease leads to hair loss and baldness).

Hypertrichosis has also be observed in horses with certain forms of cancer such as lymphoma where the function fo the pituitary gland is affected.

"Wonder Horses"

Genetically and physically normal horses may grow a particularly long mane and/or to that falls to the ground, or even longer. Some horses with very long manes and tales have been exhibited in circuses such as several Oregon horses exhibited under the name of Linus. The first Linus dates from 1884 and was purchased by the Eaton brothers as an sideshow animal. His long hair may result from a lineage including Clydesdales and wild horses from the Oregon region that were already known for their long manes and tails. Linus's son (Linus 2) continued as an exhibit after his sire was killed by lightning. At least one other horse has also be exhibited as "Linus", whose lineage is not known.

Another sideshow horse with long mane and tail was exhibited in the 1890s and went by the name of White Wings,

The current record holder for longest tail is an American paint horse called Summer--with an attractive black and white tail measuring in at 12 feet, six inches.

Source

Human Hypertrichosis

Bearded ladies are usually women who have higher than typical levels of androgens, causing them to exhibit secondary sexual characteristics more commonly found on on men. However the hypertricosis in women may also be caused by many other conditions such as polycistic ovary syndrome.

  • Helena Antonia
  • Madame Delait ("the Bearded Lady of Plombières")
  • Mrs Myers ("The Bearded Lady of Elk County")
  • Delina Rossa ("Bearded Lady from Paris")


In men hypertrichosis may cause hair growth across most of the body including the entire face. Examples include:

Hypertrichosis can be produced by a range of pharmaceuticals including Minoxidil and Phenytoin.

Human Hair Growers

As human head hair is constantly growing it is possible to grow it to a very impressive length. One promonant example is the singer Crystal Gayle who has trademark long dark hair which she wears at a length that touches the floor.

The current record holder for longest hair is Xie Qiuping (right), at 5.6m (18'6").

The longest beard at 1.9m belongs to Sarwan Singh, Radhakant Bajpai is known for extraordinary ear hair, and the longest eyebrows (15cm) belong to Japanese woman Edogawa-ku.

Distinguished mention also goes to Tran Van Hay (deceased), Georgia Sebrantke, and the Sutherland sisters.

Animal Hair Growers

Many other animals have hair that continues to grown unless cut. Thus you will see floor length hair and creatures such as alpaca.

Sheep

A sheep that goes unshorn for several years can develop an impressively round fleece, such as with Shrek (shown right). Shrek is a Merino who managed to evade shearing for six years prior to becoming a minor media celebrity in 2004. When "he" was finally sheered, the fleece weighed an astounding 27 kg (60 lb) and he turned out to be a she.

Fish

Of course fish do not have hair, but the do grow fins and some fish (such as danios) come in varieties with unusually long fins.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jennifer Theories profile image

      Jennifer Theories 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Interesting topic. It's a short article but a fun little read.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)