This is fine nonpigmented hair that covers the body of the fetus.A) VellusB) PapillaC) AlopeciaD) Hair folliclesE) Lanugo

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jgeertz | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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The answer is E) Lanugo.

Lanugo comes from the Latin word "lanugo" meaning down. Lanugo is the fine, downy layer of hair found on a fetus. It is similar to soft fur. It is believed that lanugo assists in maintaining the coating of vernix that protects the fetus' skin as it floats in amniotic fluid. Lanugo is also thought to aid in temperature regulation. At around 22 weeks gestation, the human fetus is covered with this hair. Since some lanugo is swallowed by the fetus in utero, it is present in meconium otherwise known as the first bowel movements in a newborn. Most fetuses naturally lose their lanugo at about 36-38 weeks gestation when it is replaced with vellus hair. It is common for newborns to still have some lanugo present on their backs and shoulders but this usually sheds by the age of three months.


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