Q:

What are some animals that sweat?

A:

Animals in the mammalian class, including elephants, dogs, cats, apes, bats, sloths, lemurs, horses and beavers, have sweat glands and sweat through either their eccrine, their apocrine sweat glands or both. Primate mammals, such as apes, gorillas and humans, have eccrine sweat glands all over their bodies. Non-primate mammals, such as dogs and cats, have apocrine glands on their paws and feet that help to cool them off.

Whole body cooling through sweating and evaporation is most effective among humans but is also observed among apes and catarrhine primates, or Old World monkeys. Non-human, hairy primates, such as the gorilla and chimpanzee, sweat through their armpits, palms of their hands and soles of their feet. Contrary to popular belief, pigs, rhinos and hippos, like other warm-blooded mammals, do have sweat glands. They pass sweat through passive diffusion, which is ineffective for cooling their bodies. They cool off by wallowing in cool water or mud, which has the same cooling effect as sweating.

Most non-primate mammals have apocrine sweat glands on their hair follicles. The glands secrete an oily, opaque and colorless liquid that gains a foul odor upon bacterial decomposition. The apocrine sweat gland is also called the scent gland as it is not as effective for cooling as the eccrine sweat gland. In humans, these glands can be found on the armpit and perianal areas.


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