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Why do we get Goosebumps?

Stand outside in the cold or watch a horror movie, and you might see the skin on your arms look bumpy as the hairs stand up. We call this "goosebumps," but the medical name is cutis anserina. Goosebumps happen when the tiny muscles in each hair follicle, called arrector pili muscles, contract, says Dr. Jennifer Holman, a dermatologist at University of Missouri Hospital Many other animals, including your cat or pooch, get goosebumps too. In the cold, goosebumps serve to pull the hair upright creating an insulating layer of hair and warm air around the body. If an animal is afraid, pulling the hairs up makes the animal look larger and may scare away other animals.

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Title Annotation:ASK ScienceWorld[R]
Author:H., Lindsey
Publication:Science World
Date:Feb 4, 2008
Previous Article:Explain This!
Next Article:Teacher to teacher.

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