When it comes down to the looks of a body, it was believed that parents were responsible for most of the special physical traits. However, scientists discovered a new agent that helped form the human nose. Its merits are less obvious as it takes a lot of time for its influence to be observed. Nonetheless, the climate is another important factor that decided the best shape of a nose for people.
Populations Share Less Unique Genes that It Is Thought
There is no doubt that the way a person looks is unique. However, another observation is equally true when people look at an ethnic population. While each member looks differently, there are traits that are similar throughout the entire community. The same goes for the human nose as well. For instance, the nasal alare which is the distance between the extremities of the nose are usually larger among persons of West African, East Asian, and South Asian origins in comparison to European features.
Thus, the history reveals that different human populations have been living and adapting to different geographical regions. However, this situation wasn’t immobile. Communities have been living in an uninterrupted circle where they split from one group only to eventually cohabit with another one. Thus, the lead author of the study, Mark D. Shriver, a professor of anthropology at Penn State University, observed that the genetic material of a population isn’t so pure as it is believed to be.
Evolution Shaped the Human Nose to Withstand Extreme Temperatures
For his study, Shriver conducted a series of 3D scanning of faces of more than 2,500 persons. Researchers also asked for data about the participants’ ancestry. This is how they managed to create a map of different nose shapes. The participants were specifically selected to represent all types of climates.
The study appeared in the publication PLOS Genetics, and its findings describe how the human nose was adapted to air temperature and humidity. Thanks to the use of the latest technology, researchers managed to differentiate the evolutionary noise from evolutionary improvements.
Thus, the human nose was specifically designed to allow the entire body to better adapt to the climate. For instance, in warm and humid regions, the nose grew larger in width. This way, people were able to inhale more oxygen with less effort. As for the cold climate, the nose was improved so as the chilly air not to irritate the sensible parts of nose and throat. As a consequence, the narrow nose in cold areas can mix the cold air from outside with the warm air inside it. Thus, the inhaled air ends up being the right temperature so as not to cause any harm.
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