Sat. Nov 27th, 2021
 
Climate Impacted Changes In Body and Brain Size Throughout Human Evolution Study

Climate Impacted Changes In Body and Brain Size Throughout Human Evolution: Study

Human evolution is one of the most important and a focal discipline since the origins of science itself. It is the way to learn the lengthy process of change in which homo sapiens originated from ape-like creatures in approximately 6 million years. It studies how and why the human body and brain functions the way it does. Recent research has revealed new insights into human evolution and what impacts it. Published in the journal Nature Communications by an international and interdisciplinary team of researchers, led by Dr Manuel Will from the Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, the University of Tübingen in Germany, and colleagues from Cambridge, New Zealand, and Canada, the study revealed that human body and brain were affected by climate change directly and indirectly.

Climate Impacted Changes In Body and Brain Size Throughout Human Evolution: Study

Climate Impacted Changes In Body and Brain Size Throughout Human Evolution Study
Climate Impacted Changes In Body and Brain Size Throughout Human Evolution Study

 

Body and brain measurements from about 300 fossils from the genus Homo were collected from all around the world by the research team. Then they combined the collected data with the reconstruction of regional climates over the last million years. This timeline matches the very early beginnings of human evolution and was characterized by drastic changes in climate. An upward trend of increasing body and brain sizes comparable to other species such as Homo habilis has been found in the Homo Genus. This is being considered as the defining trait. The team conducted the research by matching every fossil they collected with the climate they experienced when the fossil was a living individual. This showed that the average size of the human body has fluctuated considerably. It has been found that larger bodies have evolved in colder regions as less heat is lost from the body.

 

The study also found that climate change, although not as drastically as it affected the body, also affected the size of the brain in the genus Homo. The biotic factors of climate change have impacted the brain more than the temperature. Larger brains were associated with habitats that had less vegetation. Using archaeological data, it can be concluded that individuals living in such habitats had to hunt larger animals as food, which was a risky and complex task. This might have driven the evolution of larger brains.

 

Subhangee Guha

Break the Newz.

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