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Name: erin
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Question:
People of different countries have very distinctive physical characteristics and I was wondering if this had to do with the region of the world they're living in, if they had to adapt and evolve to their climate and environment? Do smaller eyes help some people, or darker skin? Thanks for your help!



Replies:
I would think that at least some physical characteristics are based on evolutionary pressures. For example, if a person lacked the ability to produce skin pigmentation it might restrict their ability to hunt or collect food in extremely sunny environments (imagine walking around with a serious sunburn every day). Most of the differences though I think are the product of happenstance and geographical isolation of various populations, leading to inbreeding and the predominance of certain physical traits in a region. The ability of man to use and construct tools I think would tend to reduce the direct influence of physical environment on evolution.

Don



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