Climate Shaped The Body Size Of The Human Body, Study Suggests

Climate Shaped The Body Size Of The Human Body, Study Suggests
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A popular pattern in human evolution is a rise in body and brain size.

Homo Sapiens are part of the Homo genus and began their existence some 300,000 years ago.

We are considerably larger than the earlier Homo species, and we own brains roughly three times larger than humans who roamed Earth a million years ago.

Intense debates have been carried out over the factors provoking the human evolution in this way, which made a research team under the leadership of the Cambridge University and Tübingen University in Germany to merge data on over three hundred fossils belonging to the Homo genus with climate models to figure out the extent of the impact of climate in shaping evolution.

The team figured out what temperature, precipitation, and other climate conditions the fossils experienced millions of years ago when they used to be part of a living human.

The research was published in Nature Communications and discovered a strong correlation between temperature and body size, proving that climate was the main factor in determining body size in that period.

Dr Manuel Will, a University researcher of the Tübingen University and joint first author of the study, said:

“The colder it gets, the bigger the humans are. If you’re bigger, you have a bigger body – you are producing more heat but losing relatively less because your surface is not expanding at the same rate.”

The link between climate and body mass is on par with Bergmann’s rule, suggesting that it’s likely to see a larger bodyweight in cold areas and smaller bodyweight in warmer ones.

That can also be seen in animal species like polar bears, which weigh more than brown bears living in warmer climates.


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Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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