Animals like cats, dogs, deer, squirrels, beavers, etc all come in different shapes and sizes but one thing common between them is fur. All of them have fur coating. Fur is soft, fine, hairy coat or covering of mammals. It is an adaptation of the mammal group and plays a big role in an animal’s life. It provides warmth to the animals and protects them as well as conceals them. Not all animals though have the same thickness and density of fur. Do you know what animals have the most dense fur? And which animal has the thickest concentration of fur? Let’s find out about the thickest concentration of fur.
1. What Animals have the Most Dense Fur?Photo by Yajun Dong on Pexels
According to the Guinness World Records, the sea otter (Enhydra lutris) has the most dense fur among all mammals. It has around 100,000 to 400,000 hair follicles per square centimeter or between 600,000 to 1,000,000 hairs per square inch, making them the one with the thickest concentration of fur. The sea otter population is found in colonies in western Canada, western USA, off Eastern Russia, and in the northeast pacific.
These mammals don’t have a blubber layer like other marine mammals and that is why they depend on their dense fur. This fur is water-resistant and provides them with insulation. A large portion of a sea otter’s day is spent grooming and conditioning its fur which helps to trap heat and air next to its skin. After learning this, let’s find out which animal has the thickest concentration of fur. (See What are Some Animals that have Feathers?)
2. Which Animal has the Thickest Concentration of Fur?
Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) has the thickest concentration of fur of any mammal. It has between 600,000 to 1,000,000 hairs per square inch. It is denser than any mammal on sea and land. Fur seals have the second thickest concentration of fur in the world with about 300,000 hairs per square inch. With this value, you can estimate just how thick the Sea otter’s fur must be.
Moreover, sea otters don’t have a blubber layer like other marine mammals and that is why they depend on their dense fur. This fur is water-resistant and provides them with insulation. A large portion of a sea otter’s day is spent grooming and conditioning its fur which helps to trap heat and air next to its skin. After this, let’s see which land mammal has the densest fur. Must read 10 Interesting Facts About Sea Lions.
3. Which Land Mammal has the Densest Fur?Photo by Bulat Khamitov on Pexels
Now that you are aware of the animals with the thickest concentration of fur, let’s learn which land mammal has the densest fur. Out of all the land mammals, Chinchillas have the densest fur. These rodents are native to South America’s Andes Mountains. The Chinchillas got their name from Chichinas which was an American Indian tribe. The tribe hunted these rodents for their soft fur.
The chinchillas contain close to 20,000 hairs on each square centimeter of their bodies. In Chinchillas, more than fifty hairs can grow from a single follicle comparatively humans have only one or two hair per follicle. These rodents need to regularly bather in volcanic ash or dust to remove moisture and oil that gathers in their thick and soft fur. Their dense fur stops skin parasites like flees from feeding on their blood. Also, learn 14 Interesting Facts about Mammals.
4. Why is Fur More Dense in Smaller Mammals than in Larger Ones?
Fur is an evolutionary feature of the mammalian lineage. It protects the mammal from the cold. The denser the fur the more air it traps close to the skin of the animals which in turn helps to keep the animals warm. The density of fur is however more in smaller mammals than in larger ones. It is because many smaller animals tend to have high metabolic rates and this makes them extremely vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. They, therefore, need more dense furry insulation to protect them from dips in external temperatures.
Additionally, apart from insulation, the small animals also use fur for camouflage. Generally, the coats of small mammals match the soil in their environment so that they can easily blend with the dirt. (See What Animals Eyes glow Red at Night?)
5. How Dense is Dog Fur?Photo by Blue Bird on Pexels
Dogs have close to 15000 hairs on each square inch of their skin, Comparatively, humans have about 100,000 hairs on 120-140 square inches of their head, which means humans have close to 1000 hairs per square inch. So, dogs are a lot denser than humans. (See Why do Dogs Chew on their Nails?)
6. How Dense is Human Hair?
There is immense diversity in human hair. They come in different colors, lengths, textures, etc. Human hair has the function of regulating your body temperature, protecting you from things in your environment, aiding in the detection of sensations, etc.
Hair plays such important roles in a human’s life but do you know how dense is human hair? Well, the number of hair on a human’s head varies from individual to individual. But, at once, an average person has close to 100,000 hair on their head. Hair density is the number of hair you have per square inch and according to an older study, it was found that on average a human has about 800 to 1290 hairs per square inch. (See Is Curly Hair Rare?)
7. How Dense is Cat Hair?Image by DanaTentis from Pixabay
After learning how dense is human hair, let’s explore how dense cat hair is. The color, texture, and density of cat hair differ from breed to breed. Usually, the cat fur has a top coat and undercoat but in some cat breeds, there is only a single layer. The top coat of the fur determines a cat’s markings and color. This layer is made of longer awn hairs or slightly shooter guard hairs. The undercoat is made up of short hairs located directly above the skin. This layer provides insulation to the cat. A normal cat coat is extremely dense and has about 25,000 hairs per square centimeter. (See Why is my Cat Stretching so much?)
8. Why is Chinchilla Fur so Dense?
Chinchillas have the densest fur of all land mammals. They have close to 20,000 hairs on each square centimeter of their bodies. In these rodents, more than fifty hairs can grow from a single follicle, comparatively, humans have only one hair per follicle. They need to regularly bathe in volcanic ash or dust to remove moisture and oil that gathers in their thick and soft fur. Their fur is so dense because they naturally live in cold places and thick coats let them easily adapt to colder climates.
The wild chinchilla is native to the Andes Mountains of South America. The chinchillas with denser furs can live in higher altitudes. Like, long-tailed chinchillas have thinner fur and live at 1000-3000 m whereas small-tailed chinchillas have thicker fur and live 3000 m above sea level. (See What is the Leopard Skin Colour?)
9. Why can’t Chinchillas get Wet?
Chinchillas can’t get wet because they have dense fur which is excellently capable of holding moisture in. So, if the chinchilla gets wet, the fur will take will long to dry, and if in case the moisture stays in the fur long enough, there can be skin infection. It happens because due to moisture fungi can start multiplying inside the fur.
Additionally, a chinchilla can get too chilled if its fur remains wet for a long. In such a situation it can also develop a respiratory infection. Fur fungus can be treated with antifungal treatment but it will cause the chinchilla to have itching, crusting skin, and hair loss. Moreover, the chinchilla can spread the induction of other animals as well as people. Check out the Dog Health Problems Symptoms.
10. What Animal has the Softest Fur?
Chinchillas have the softest fur in the world. Their hair is thirty times softer than human hair and ranges in shades of gray. They are native to South America’s Andes Mountains and have gotten their name from Chichinas which was an American Indian tribe. The tribe hunted these rodents for their soft fur.
The chinchillas contain close to 20,000 hairs on each square centimeter of their bodies. In chinchillas, more than fifty hairs can grow from a single follicle comparatively humans have only one hair per follicle. These rodents need to regularly bathe in volcanic ash or dust to remove moisture and oil that gathers in their thick and soft fur. Their fur is so dense that it would suffocate a flea if it tried to live in it. (Also read List of Animals with Manes)