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Non-Mammalian Hair

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"Oh, Larry got himself an entourage, you know? I guess he's thinking to himself like he's a superstar now that he is a turtle with a white mohawk somehow. Turtles are not meant to be able to grow hair, I'll have you know. I know! It is something I had to learn myself the hard way back in kindergarten, when I mistook a turtle for a 100 gigawatt bolt of cloth! Then I was wondering why it wouldn't swim and I was rather the sad little critter."
raocow, being only semi-relevant to this trope.
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Some non-mammalian cartoon characters are drawn with what looks to be real hair on their heads, despite the fact that real hair is exclusive to mammals and one of our defining traits. Bird characters tend to get away with this the most, since their "hair" can be handwaved as feathers that happen to look like Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, namely long "hair" on female characters.

Lesser versions of this trope include non-mammals with eyelashes (another signifier that the wearer is female) or eyebrows to make human-like facial expressions. This trope is tricky to extend to aliens whose species probably can't be defined on our terms.

Compare Non-Mammal Mammaries, when breasts are used to humanize female non-mammal characters.

See also Furry Female Mane and Robot Hair.


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Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • Some of the female ducks have "hair" on their heads in addition to feathers, while most of the male ducks just have white "feathers" that behave like hair, as in the case of Scrooge's whiskers. Gyro Gearloose does have "hair", though, and Gladstone Gander's curls seem to vary between being feathers and actually being colored blond, Depending On The Colorist.
    • Some male examples exist too. Ludwig von Drake has a fringe of hair, giving the impression that he's bald (but he has feathers on the top of his head!). Flinthart Glomgold has a very full beard.note  In DuckTales (1987), Launchpad McQuack has a red forelock peeking out from his aviator's cap; whether the rest of his head is drawn with hair or white feathers varies from episode to episode.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW): Bad Apple in "Night of the Living Apples" is a particularly extreme example, as he manages to sport a magnificent handlebar mustache despite being a fruit.
  • Sonic the Comic: Tekno is a canary with green hair on her head.
  • In a comic based on the 1980 Flash Gordon movie, when Flash and Aura pass Frigia, an animal that looks like a triceratops covered in shaggy hair can be seen.
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    Fanfic 

    Films — Animated 
  • Disney:
  • DreamWorks Animation:
    • Chicken Run: Downplayed. Many of the chickens have combs resembling different hairstyles.
    • Kung Fu Panda 2: Lord Shen is an evil peacock with large eyebrows, a Fu Manchu mustache, and a goatee.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Roz is a large garden snail-like monster with a tuft of white hair on her head. Also, some of the monsters, whether resembling either toads, slugs, or octopi, will inevitably have some form of hair on their heads.
  • Rango: Beans the desert lizard has curly locks of auburn hair. The gunslinger Rattlesnake Jake has a black mark under his lips that resembles a mustache.
  • Rock-A-Doodle: Chanticleer and Goldie. In the case of Chanticleer, his "hair" is actually his comb (a fleshy structure found on the heads of chickens, usually much larger on roosters) which in his case is shaped like a pompadour haircut colored black to resemble Elvis Presley.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Muppet Treasure Island: Captain Smollett, played by Kermit the Frog, has a white Sailor's Ponytail. It may be a powdered wig of the sort commonly worn at the time but, if so, it stays in place when he's hanging upside down. In the music video for Ziggy Marley's closing theme, "Love Power", he has dreadlocks instead.
  • Pete's Dragon (1977): Eliot the dragon has hair; possibly not a straight example because Pete's song where he describes him claims that he's "both a fish and a mammal" (although Eliot certainly doesn't have any fish-like qualities).

    Folklore and Mythology 
  • In Armenian folklore dragons (called vishaps) tended to have lion-like manes. One story involves a vishap tricking a boy into picking out the lice from its hair so that he can eat the boy.
  • It's common for Asian dragons, who are more or less universally described as great reptilian serpents, to be depicted with furry manes and whiskers.
  • The fur-bearing trout is a fearsome critter from U.S. and Icelandic folklore. The American tale would have it as a breed of trout that supposedly grew a thick coat of fur to ward off the cold, while the Icelandic version is a poisonous fish sent to swarm rivers as a punishment for human wickedness. The legend is thought to have originated as a result of certain parasitic molds that infect fish and make them seem to have grown hair or fur.
  • Any mammalian/bird hybrid such as hippogriffs or griffins.
  • Medusa is an inversion of this, being a mammal(ish creature) with reptiles for hair.

    Literature 
  • The Franny K. Stein book The Fran With Four Brains reveals that Franny has bearded slugs that she shaves daily.
  • Ssalia and the Dragons of Avienot: Both ssyrean and dragons can grow hair (including beards) in a fairly wide range of colours, despite apparently being reptilian (scaly and egg-laying). Then again, as the book doesn't take place on Earth, they are technically aliens and such labels don't necessarily need to apply.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The Falleen are a reptilian humanoid species who have full heads of hair. The Essential Guide to Alien Species notes that this is unusual, however.
    • Whether Hutts are better classified as reptiles or gastropods is unclear (they share biological traits of those and other types of animals) but they clearly aren't mammals. Nonetheless, Jabba's father in Legends, Zorba the Hutt was unusual among his kind, as he had long, white, dreadlocked hair on his head and a great, braided beard. Because this was such a rarity in Hutts, Zorba's hair marked him as a kind of mutation among his people, and they rarely hid their distaste of it. In canon works such as The Clone Wars, Hutts are seen using creatures known as Sha'rellian Toops as living makeshift hairpieces.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Cardassians all have a full head of shiny black hair, despite the rest of them being scaly (though armadillos are also mammals with scales). It's thick, clumpy, and feather-like, but it's still hair. They can also hybridize with at least two conventionally mammalian humanoid species, and the females have breasts. The humanoid chameleons known as the Jem'Hadar also have something that appears to be a black ponytail hidden behind their ceratopsid-like bony crests, though some sources claim it's actually some sort of fiberoptic cable, since their entire race are cyborg Super Soldiers. The Klingons are also sometimes described as being some sort of reptile, but this is far from consistent.

     Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Many monsters are portrayed as (usually female and beautiful) non-mammals with hair. Naga, mariliths, lillendi, harpies... some of them are magical or demonic beings, but it's disturbingly consistent.
  • Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000: The greenskins are naturally hairless, because they're essentially sentient and extremely violent humanoid fungi. Most orc/k hair is limited to topknots which are explained as being a specialized breed of squig (small, mindless and very hungry/aggressive beasties) that clamps onto the skin with its teeth and is used as a "clip on" hairpiece.

     Toys 
  • My Little Pony: One of the Pony Friends in G1 is a dinosaur with long hair.

    Video Games 
  • Animal Crossing: Several non-mammalian Villagers (such as Pate the duck) have hair.
  • Carrie's Order Up!: Downplayed. Some of the anthropomorphic sea life sport fins or tendrils that look like hair, like Skyler the swordfish and Calcia the lobster.
  • Darkstalkers: Q-Bee has what appears to be hair, although it (along with her cute mammalian face and other attributes) is a lure designed to trap foolish mammalian males.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Mortal Kombat 's Khameleon has long (semi-invisible, like the rest of her) hair. Interestingly, her male race-mates Reptile and Chameleon are either hairless or have a serious kase of Kompressed Hair.
  • Neopets: Most characters from site events have some form of hair, regardless of what their species actually appears to be. To drive the point home, there is a fish with a beard and a penguin with black hair.
  • Pokémon: Some non-mammalian Pokémon have hair on their bodies, such as Kriketune, a cricket with a mustache; and male Jellicent, a jellyfish also with a mustache. Though with the former the mustache may actually be a pair of feelers/pincers/antennae while the latter's mustache might be made of, well, jelly.
  • Splatoon:
    • Played with. Inklings are evolved versions of squids, and their hair are really stylized tentacles. The same applies to Octolings.
    • Splatoon 2 plays this trope straight with the Salmonids, many of which have mohawks.
  • Spyro the Dragon does something similar to Mario, although non-mammal hair is rare among females. Beards on male dragons are fairly common.
  • Super Mario Bros.: The series does this if a female member of an otherwise assumed to be all-male species is introduced (Kammy and Koopie in the Paper Mario series, for example). Bowser and his son have hair, as do many of the Koopalings, who may or may not be related (ironically enough, Wendy doesn't, although she does have eyelashes). A few characters have mustaches.
  • Undertale: A number of monsters that are recognizably based on real animals, such as Undyne (fish) and Bratty (aligator), sport human hair.
  • Yo-Kai Watch: Roughraff is an anthropomorphic gecko with a large orange pompadour. It's justified in that he's a youkai.

    Webcomics 
  • Dreamwalk Journal (NSFW): Most of the anthropomorphic insects and arachnids, both male and female, have hairlike stuff on their heads. As well as the other humanoid characteristics you'd expect from an erotic comic.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • In one strip, Tedd imagines himself as a humanoid praying mantis with his normal hair.
    • Amanda and Lisa turn into a humanoid reptile and a humanoid bird respectively specifically to demonstrate what non-mammalian humanoid forms would look like.note  Both end up with hair-like stuff on their heads; Amanda's is Medusa-like while Lisa's is feather-like.
    • Nanase gets turned into a humanoid gecko and retains her hair. Notably, unlike Amanda's reptilian form, Nanase's form averts Non-Mammal Mammaries.
  • Homestuck: The trolls. They look like humans with horns and gray skin, but it's implied by their bizarre life cycle and a few references to their physiology that they're closer to insects. This doesn't prevent them from having hair — long, flowing locks of it, even, in some cases.
  • Kevin & Kell: Tammy Flambeau (a moth) has nice long white hair.
  • Nip and Tuck: Subverted; lizard Hortense wears wigs.
  • Prophecy of the Circle: The tekk have, depending on subspecies, something similar to manes, hair crests or even beards, despite being reptiles.
  • Suicide for Hire: The reptilian pizza delivery boy/black market merchant Altair Annunaki has an impressive head of hair (though not as impressive as Arcturus' — Arcturus has the excuse of being a mammal).
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, the alien Nemesites have hair, despite being insects (giant butterflies, specifically).

     Web Original 
  • Hector's World:
    • The evil squid has a mustache.
    • Some creatures cyberbully Ming the clam by drawing a mustache on a photo of her.

    Western Animation 
  • Almost Naked Animals takes it to its extreme. Species that wouldn't normally have hair, or at least not a full coat of it, still have the "shaved" appearance.
  • The Angry Beavers features Wanda, Bing's on-again-off-again girlfriend. Like Bing, she's a fast-talking lizard, but unlike Bing, she has blonde '80s Hair, and purple leggings worn under a dress.
  • Back at the Barnyard: In "Plucky and Me", when Plucky the T. rex imagines Mrs. Beady as a female T. rex, she is pictured as one with her signature hair, glasses, and apron still intact. As of 2014, the hair could be interpreted as some form of plumage.
  • Birdz: Played straight with most of the cast. Those that don't have it just have a patch of feathers on their heads.
  • Camp Lazlo: Gretchen has blonde hair despite being an alligator.
  • Disney:
    • Classic Disney Shorts: Daisy Duck presents something of an odd example, in that she originally didn't have "hair" but, in some recent variations, she's been given something much like this. Notably in House of Mouse, she sports a long ponytail.
    • In the short "The Ballad of Nessie", Nessie is presented as having hair. Like everyone else in the show it is red, as per Scottish stereotypes.
    • All the duck related examples in the comic book section show up in DuckTales (1987) and Darkwing Duck as well. J Gander Hooter also has the white fringes, with nice bushy eyebrows too. Most of these use hair not as a gender marker, but as an age marker. And yes, the girls (Morgana, Gosalyn, Sarah Bellum, Ammonia Pine) have hair.
  • Elinor Wonders Why: Most characters are animals, and some have hair, such as Elinor Rabbit herself.
  • Family Guy:
    • Quagmire as a frog keeps the head hair he has in his human form.
    • The Iraq lobster has a beard and turban.
  • Fish Hooks: Of the three characters, Milo the betta fish is the only one who has a dorsal fin on his head. Bea goldfish has long red hair while Oscar the catfish has a full afro. In fact a lot of the sea characters have hair, including an octopus and a ponytailed clam.
  • It's a Big Big World: Madge the map turtle has white "hair".
  • Jabberjaw: The titular shark had a brown goatee.
  • In Kaeloo, Olaf the penguin has big, bushy eyebrows.
  • In Littlest Pet Shop (2012), Vinnie Terrio the gecko has a full head of hair.
  • Lizzie: The title character is a teenage girl named Lizzie Green who has transformed into a humanoid lizard. She has red hair.
  • Looney Tunes: In "Tortoise Wins by a Hare", the female tortoise has hair.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: Despite being a crustacean, Crank the lobster sports an impressive mustache and set of thick white eyebrows.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • The Sea Serpent Stephen Magnet sports lovingly coiffed cranial and facial hair, to the point that half of his moustache being cut off is a minor plot point.
      • In "Boast Busters", Twilight Sparkle uses her magic to give Spike the dragon a mustache.
  • Nature Cat has eyelashes on fish, apparently to help distinguish males (straight lashes) from females (curly).
  • The Octonauts: In an episode where the team meets a spider crab, the one the team meets has an impressive grey mustache, in part to show that he's old (he mentions being on his way to his birthday party thrown by his children and grandchildren).
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
    • In "The Two Faces of Squidward," Squidward has chest hair at his "handsomest", despite being an octopus. Or something resembling one.
    • A lot of the other undersea characters have hair at some point. It's implied that Spongebob has always had hair but he keeps it very short because he likes it that way.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): In the "Mutant Apocalypse" arc, Raphael and Michelangelo have somehow grown a beard and long hair respectively in their old age in spite of them being mutant turtles.
  • Transformers: Believe it or not there are Transformers with facial hair.
  • VeggieTales presents some rare plant examples, such as Pa Grape (eyebrows and mustache), Mr. Nezzer (bald head), Mr. Lunt (Van Dyke), Esther (an onion with long hair), Petunia (a rhubarb with a ponytail), Madame Blueberry (brown at night, blonde during the day), Laura Carrot (pigtails), Scooter (bald head and mustache), and the Peach ('cause he has hair). There is actually one song about Larry the Cucumber accidentally misplacing his hairbrush despite not having any hair on his head at all!

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: Kiwa hirsuta, the yeti lobster. Although it isn't fur (which is dead), it's actual setae to filter poisonous chemicals from the water of its deep-sea-vent home.
  • The later mammal-like reptiles (synapsids) are thought to have been hairy. Seeing as the mammals evolved from them, it's not really surprising - apparently hair just evolved somewhat earlier than mammary glands.
    • Birds and modern reptiles evolved from a different group of proto-reptiles. Synapsids and Sauropsids have different skull structures. Mammals evolved from Synapsids while birds and reptiles evolved from Sauropsids.
  • Many pterosaurs appear to have been covered in hair or fur-like structures. Which, interestingly enough, are thought to be more closely related to feathers, seeing as pterosaurs are archosaurs like dinosaurs and birds.
    • Simple feathers are VERY hair like (the "eyelashes" of birds such as ostriches). Seeing that was one of the earliest stages of feather evolution, it is very probable some dinosaurs looked somewhat hairy rather than downy or feathered.
    • Anurognathid pterosaurs took this to the extreme, having pycnofibrils (the "pterosaur fur") even on the wing membranes.
    • It has been argued that notosuchians, a group of extinct crocodyllians, might have had whiskers or whisker-like scales.
  • The Hairy Frog. It's not actually hair and is in fact living tissue containing blood vessels (and grows only on males). They act as makeshift gills by allowing oxygen from water to diffuse right into the arteries; a useful ability for a father frog that has to sit underwater for long periods guarding his eggs.
  • Terrestrial arthropods often have short hairs as sensory equipment. Some look downright fluffy, such as tarantulas and bumblebees.
  • It's obviously not hair, but the Bearded Dragon, an agamid lizard that's popular as a pet, got its name because it looks like it has a beard made of spiky scales.
  • Several insects (for example, many bee species) have what appear to be hair on their bodies, although it's made from a different protein (chitin) than mammalian hair (alpha keratin).
  • Some ambush-predatory fishes, such as deep-sea anglers and frogfish, have hair-like filaments sprouting from their surface as camouflage and/or sensory appendages. Bottom-scrounging fish species such as catfish or loaches likewise use dangling facial barbels to probe the mud beneath them for food, which can look like they're dragging whiskers through the muck.
  • Check out the 'do on the white duck!
  • Silkies are a breed of chicken whose feathers grow in such a way that they look far more like fluffy hair. Very adorable. Not very practical when it rains.

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