Are Humans the only Animals that Sweat?

What are Sweat Glands? Which of the Animals Sweat? What are the Factors Responsible for this? What animals don’t Sweat?
are humans the only animals that sweat

Sweat, Yes! All human beings sweat in some or the other part of the day. Whether you hit the gym, run a relay race, hurry up while preparing at the eleventh hour for some occasion, prepare for an interview, stand under the sun or do something which makes you nervous, you end up sweating and stinking. But are humans the only animals that sweat? You may also ask what animals sweat the most or, in fact, what animals don’t sweat. Continue reading to find the amazing facts.

1. Why do you need Sweat Glands?

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When a rise in temperature is noticed, sweat is stimulated to cool the skin. Internal body temperature lowers as sweat evaporates from the skin’s surface. As a result, sweat glands are critical in maintaining a consistent body temperature. Clinically speaking, there are ample numbers of eccrine sweat glands covering virtually the entire body surface area and producing the greatest volume of perspiration. 

Apocrine and apoeccrine glands, on the other hand, play a smaller part in overall sweat production as they are restricted to certain areas of the body. Sweat glands regulate body temperature and eliminate the unwanted components or rather minerals via the secretion of water containing sodium salts and the most common nitrogenous waste containing high amounts of urea onto the skin’s surface. (Also read Why Do We Have Armpit Hair?)

2. What happens without Sweat Glands?

To be honest, sweat glands play a very important role in your body’s efficient functioning, especially in cleaning your body. However, though very rare, some people are born without sweat glands. (See Do Insects Sleep?)

  • This no sweating medical condition is known as anhidrosis, in other terms hypohidrosis. Anhidrosis affects small or even large areas of a person’s body.
  • In minor cases, people may not be aware that they are even suffering from some problems. As a result, they don’t get treated as they don’t have any idea about the reasons, precautions, and treatment of anhidrosis.
  • In severe cases, due to extreme lack of sweating, the deceased person faces difficulties while working or performing exercises as the body is not able to cool down. This is a hidden reason for heat exhaustion and heat strokes.

Are humans the only animals that sweat? Well, no. But before learning about animals that sweat, have a look at why few people hate summers.

3. What Animals Sweat the Most?

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Thinking about are humans the only animals that sweat? Luckily enough, they are not the only animals who sweat. Speaking of what animals sweat the most, it must be said that the animal is the horse. Yes, due to the immense amount of perspiration, the horse is one of the fastest running animals.

Horses produce a layer of foam and lather on their skin surface, especially in the hind legs and neck areas just after working out in hot weather. This is the way horses sweat. However, they contain a unique substance called latherin. This latherin spreads across the entire body surface to increase the surface area and eventually evaporates from the surface of the body. (Also read What is a Herd of Moose Called?)

4. What are the other Animals that Sweat?

As you know the answer to are humans the only animals that sweat, you should read the names of other animals who sweat on hot days.

  • Donkeys tend to have a similar sweating process to horses. They also have latherin secretion with a foamy appearance spreading all around the body surface.
  • Zebras also have similar sweating properties to horses and donkeys but with a difference. The foam containing latherin has a different behavior according to the color of the zebra’s stripes. To be specific, the black hairs facilitate faster sweat evaporation on hot days. Must read 4 no stripe zebra facts.
  • No wonder chimpanzees resemble humans the most, with surprisingly 98.8% of similar DNA structures. However, due to the presence of a high amount of fur and a much lower density of skin glands, the eccrine to apocrine gland ratio rises higher to facilitate body cooling.
  • Gorillas, like humans, have sweat glands, but their only purpose is the thermoregulation of body heat. Apart from this, the presence of unique tissues, namely the axillae, are present in the gorilla’s armpits. These tissues help gorillas secrete sweat and have a strong, unique odor. In fact, this odor helps them identify each other during threat situations.
  • Old world monkeys are basically a group of primates consisting mainly of macaques and baboons. They have only a few eccrine glands spread over their body surface, producing some amount of sweat.
  • Dogs have merocrine glands situated near or on their paw pads which sweat in hot weather. However, interestingly enough, they do not have sweat glands all over their body due to their thick fur. (See Do Dogs Feel Emotion?)
  • Interestingly enough, the hippopotamus does not seem to sweat. But it secretes a red-colored mucus fluid behaving as a natural moisturizer, sunscreen, and antibiotic. This kind of sweat is helpful to the animal in other ways but not thermoregulation. Indeed, the hippopotamus cools itself by rolling in mud or diving itself half into the water. (See Do animals sweat?)

5. What Animals don’t Sweat?


Animals or more specifically marine mammals who reside in water for all their lifetime do not need to sweat. This is because their body heat is balanced all the time due to the water’s temperature around them. Some marine mammals are whales, dolphins, and porpoises. (Also read 14 Interesting Facts about Mammals)

It seems like now you have satisfied your urge and got your answer to are humans the only animals that sweat. Humans, in fact, sweat and produce unique odors, and even these odors are used for discovering lost people during police investigations. In addition, to ensure proper and less odored sweat, take a look at why you should drink more Water?)

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