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Scientific American Article Review

Essay by   •  April 14, 2011  •  Article Review  •  603 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,021 Views

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Scientific American

Summary:

In the beginning of the article, Jablonski introduces the fact that humans are the only primates with nearly naked skin. Humans are unique for this characteristic, and may have played a role in the forming of other traits. Hair is used for all types of body covering in mammals, but some mammals have evolved not to have hair. These mammals consist of subterranean and aquatic mammals. One of the main reasons that large terrestrial mammals have evolved not to have hair is because of overheating and exhaustion. Humans do not apply to any of these climactic adaptations. In order to keep cool most mammals have sweat glands. While furry secrete an oily sweat out of sebaceous and apocrine glands, humans emit a more water sweat out of eccrine glands. This watery sweat is more efficient in eliminating excess heat. These efficient sweat glands developed in response to the global cooling of East and Central Africa. These glands allowed hominids to be superior predators by allowing them to run for long periods of time. Scientists Lieberman and Ruff made these developments by studying the relationships of the different joint surfaces.

The skin is also a sufficient barrier to the outside world. This barrier, or epidermis, contains the protein keratin. This keratin creates weak hair. Although human hair is weak, it has remained prominent in some parts of the body. Some populations have more hair, while others continue to have less. Human development towards having less hair aided in the development of the brain, but had social reproductions. Overall, having less hair gave made humans who they are today.

Critique:

Nina Jablonski did an exceptional job with this scientific American article. Every point that is raised in order to sustain her opinion is supported by scientific facts. For example, when referring to the sebaceous and apocrine glands, the author refers to a University of Iowa experiment that displays how the oily sweat does not work well with fur. The mention of scientific experiments makes the article convincing. By using these references, Jablonski places her views of the topic into the context of real life, making the article interesting and appealing to the viewer. Research was definitely conducted well for this article because the author knows the key terms to mention to enhance the effectiveness of her writing. The author did follow sound scientific methods because in order to have an efficiently written paper, there needs to be many supporting details to each key topic. By following scientific methods, these supporting details help emphasize the point the author is trying to make. This article is written in an understandable manner because common words are used to explain complex topics. When talking about the development of thinning hair and sweat glands, the author describes the adaptation

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