Lanugo refers to hair that grows on the body in an attempt to insulate the skin because of lack of fat. It is a type of pelage. Lanugo is very fine, and may grow densely on the body in places where significant amounts of hair does not normally grow. Lanugo occurs on fetuses as a normal part of gestation. Lanugo hair is usually shed and replaced by vellus hair at ~40 weeks of gestational age.
As the lanugo is shed from the skin, it is normal for the developing fetus to consume the hair with the fluid, since it drinks from the amniotic fluid and urinates it back into its environment. Subsequently, the lanugo contributes to the newborn baby's meconium. The presence of lanugo in newborns is a sign of premature birth.
- Growth and Development of Mediterranean Monk Seal Pups during Rehabilitation, E. Androukaki, E. Fatsea, L. 't Hart, A.D.M.E. Osterhaus, E. Tounta, S. Kotomatas, Monachus Science Posters, The Monachus Guardian, Vol. 5 (1): May 2002, This poster was presented at the 16th ECS (European Cetacean Society) Conference, "Marine Mammal Health: from Individuals to Populations", 7-11 April 2002, Liege, Belgium.
- Ecology of the Asian Elephant in Lowland Dry Zone Habitats of the Mahaweli River Basin, Sri Lanka Natarajan Ishwaran Journal of Tropical Ecology, Vol. 9, No. 2 (May, 1993), pp. 169-182
- The Hair, Paul MacKenzie, Elephant Information Repository website
- Elephant Hair, Elephant Anatomy, Animal Corner website
- Mori J. Krantz & Philip S. Mehler. Resting tachycardia, a warning sign in anorexia nervosa: case report. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, 2004 4:10.
- Lanugo article, Alan Greene, drgreene.com official website
- Lanugo Hairs radio clip, A Moment of Science, WFIU Radio, Indiana University, November 1, 2001.
- Lanugo Photo, The website of the Neonatal Unit, The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh