Do Dolphins Have Hair?

As you know, dolphins are marine mammals. So it’s natural to think that do dolphins have hair like land mammals. Well, similar to humans, most dolphins have lanugo hair on their bodies during the early stages of birth, which is later shed.

That means they don’t have permanent hair like us. But why? In this article, I will describe in detail why dolphins’ hair is not permanent, including other information.

Do Dolphins Have Hair?

Yes, dolphins have hair, but it is only present temporarily shortly after birth. The hair is called lanugo, and it covers their bodies when they are born. However, this hair falls out within two weeks of their birth, and they don’t grow any other hair for the rest of their lives.


Interestingly, the presence of lanugo on dolphins is a sign of their mammalian heritage, as all mammals have hair at some point during their development. Lanugo is a fine, soft hair that provides insulation and helps newborn dolphins regulate their body temperatures.

Dolphins are highly adapted to living in water and have evolved many unique adaptations to this aquatic lifestyle. One such adaptation is their lack of hair, which would create drag and slow them down in the water. Instead, dolphins have smooth skin that is covered in a layer of oil to reduce friction and streamline their bodies for efficient swimming.

Where Does a Baby Dolphin Have Hair?

A baby dolphin, also known as a calf, has hair located on the top of its rostrum. These tiny hairs can be found around the snout area of the calf and are present at birth. However, it is essential to note that dolphins do not keep their hair throughout their lifespan.

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The purpose of these hairs is not fully understood, but it is thought to assist with tactile sensitivity and sensory perception in the early developmental stages of the calf.

Additionally, the hairs may provide protection from the surrounding environment as the calves learn to swim and navigate their surroundings.

Dolphins are not the only marine animals that are born with hair. Other marine mammals, such as whales and seals, are also born with hair or fur. This is because these animals are warm-blooded, and the hair or fur helps to insulate them and regulate their body temperature in cold waters.

How Long Do Dolphins Have Hair?

Dolphins are known for their sleek and smooth appearance, and this is largely because they do not have hair for most of their lives. In fact, dolphins only have hair at the very beginning of their lives and shed it shortly after birth.


The hair of newborn dolphins is called lanugo, which is very fine and soft. It is believed that this hair helps to protect the developing fetus in the womb, but once the dolphin is born, it is no longer needed and is quickly shed.

For most dolphin species, this process of shedding the lanugo hair only takes 2-3 weeks. Once the hair is gone, dolphins do not grow any other hair for the rest of their lives. This is because they have evolved to be perfectly adapted to their aquatic lifestyle, and hair would only impede their streamlined movements through the water.

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In addition to not having hair, dolphins also have several other unique physical features that help them thrive in their marine environment. These include their streamlined bodies, powerful tails, and lungs that are adapted to diving deep underwater.

Why Don’t Dolphins Have Permanent Hair?

Dolphins’ lack of hair is a necessary adaptation to their aquatic lifestyle. Having no hair on their body gives them a streamlined physique and makes them more efficient swimmers.

Unlike other animals, dolphins do not rely on hair for insulation, as they have a thick layer of blubber underneath their skin that regulates their body temperature.

Hairlessness also helps dolphins maintain their underwater speed and agility, allowing them to chase after fish effortlessly. It is the same reason why Olympic swimmers shave their hair off to reduce drag and increase their swimming speed.

Additionally, hair on the body would act like a parachute, slowing down the dolphins’ speed as they move through the water. Consequently, the lack of hair on their body makes it easier for dolphins to swim, move swiftly, and catch their prey.

While most animals have hair, dolphins have a few bristles on their snouts but no hair on their bodies. Instead, they have a thin layer of hair that starts to grow when they are in their mother’s womb and falls out before they are born.

Most dolphins may grow hair at the newborn stage. However, their body naturally sheds them as they mature. Dolphins’ hairlessness does not put them at any disadvantage, as they have evolved over millions of years to thrive in their aquatic environment without the need for hair.

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Do Dolphins Need Hair at the Mature Age?

No, dolphins don’t need hair at the mature age. They are mammals that are adapted to living in the water. Belong to a group of aquatic animals that are called cetaceans. They have a few hairs on their snouts when they are born, which fall off after a few weeks. However, when they attain maturity, they do not grow any hair on their bodies.


This is because dolphins have evolved to live in the water, where hair would only serve as an obstacle rather than a benefit. Hair is an insulation layer for mammals that live on land and helps keep them warm in cold or extreme weather conditions. However, for dolphins, hair would quickly get waterlogged, which would cause drag, making it difficult for them to swim.

In place of hair, dolphins have a thick layer of blubber under their skin, which is used for insulation and helps them maintain their body temperature. Additionally, their skin is adapted to reduce drag when they swim, which helps them to glide through the water effortlessly.

Final Words

You now have full knowledge about the dolphins’ hair. Only newborn dolphins, called calves, possess hair for the first 2-3 weeks after their birth. After shedding, they no longer require hair due to their adapted aquatic lifestyle.

Their streamlined bodies and thick blubber enable them to move through the water effortlessly. This adaptation allows dolphins to thrive in the water without requiring hair.

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