Why do animals who live underground appear always clean and not full of dirt? (e.g. worms, mice, rabbit)

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Why do animals who live underground appear always clean and not full of dirt? (e.g. worms, mice, rabbit)

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Well, mice and rabbit both share 2 things in common. Constant grooming and they live in dens. Dens aren’t full of loose dirt. But all the same they spend half of their day grooming. Not because they care how they look, but because a clean coat works better as insulation in the winter and to keep you cool in the summer, and whiskers are SUPER sensitive and work best clean.

Worms have a slimy coating between them and what they burrow through. It lubricates them to help them move and prevents drying out as fast since the goop they make doesn’t evaporate as readily as water.

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What people are saying about coats and grooming is probably correct, but it’s worth noting that these animals are actually often “full of dirt”. If you dig out earthworms they will have lumps of dirt stuck to them. Many animals with fur and feathers purposefully put fine dirt into their coats (I’m not sure why exactly, I think it protects from parasites and sun somehow).

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The simple answer is that, if they were, it’d mean they were frequently dragging and sticking on stuff in the place they spend all their time. Which wastes energy all the time.

So there are various ways they prevent that from happening. Mucous, hairs with oils, hard surfaces covered in wax, etc. The ones that were better at it had an evolutionary advantage (not wasting as much energy), so over a very long time those traits gradually spread everywhere.

They do often have *dry, fine dust* from their environment all over them – this can also keep more obvious dirt from sticking, as it binds to the dust which falls off easily rather than to the hairs/whatever. Ones that intentionally take dust baths, or produce their own (e.g. birds are dusty AF), are kinda on the extreme end of taking advantage of this.