Scientists have revealed that climate has an effect on human body and brain size.
The researchers concluded that body size is larger in cold climates and smaller in warmer climates.
The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, is based on data from more than 300 human fossils from the Homo genus family, to which our ancestors, Homo sapiens, belonged.
‘THE COOLER THE AIR, THE HUMAN BODY GROWS’
One of the most well-known features of human evolution is the tendency to increase in body and brain size.
However, it is still debated what factors affect body and brain size, which can fluctuate.
Research from Cambridge and Tübingen universities draws attention to the evolutionary effects of climate change.
Based on the regional temperatures experienced on Earth over the last 1 million years, the research team calculated the climatic conditions under which each human fossil would have been if they were alive today.
The researchers proceeded from measurements based on estimates of what’s known as Bergmann’s rule, that body weight is greater in cold regions and less in warm regions.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper published in England, Dr. from the University of Tübingen. “As it gets colder, people get bigger. If you have a larger body, you generate more heat, but you lose relatively less heat because your surface is not expanding at the same rate,” says Manuel Will.
WHAT EFFECT ON BRAIN SIZE?
The researchers looked at the impact of environmental factors not only on body size but also on brain size.
Concluding that climate has a certain effect on brain size, the researchers pointed out that the large differences between brain sizes cannot be explained by environmental changes alone.
The best-known example of this rule is that polar bears living in the Arctic are heavier than brown bears living in warmer climates.
The same research also revealed a link between climate and brain size, but concluded that environmental factors have less of an impact on the brain than body size.
According to the Guardian’s report, the results indicated that temperature had no effect on brain size.
Brain size was greater in more stable climates.
Dr. “The more stable the climate, the larger the brain. Where environmental factors are stable, access to food is also stable, and you probably have adequate nutrition opportunities to provide the energy needed,” said Manuel Will.
On the other hand, the results of the research pointed out that there are many different factors that play an active role in evolution.
Will also stressed that because global temperatures are rising, we cannot assume that our bodies will be smaller in the future.