Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Human Adaptations and Evolution
Name: erin
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

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!

The more melanin (pigment) in the skin, the better protection against UV radiation from the sun. People whose ancestors come from equatorial areas tend to have more melanin in their skin and therefore are darker. Some scientists think that lighter skin evolved to allow people who lived in the climates closer to the poles the ability to capture more sunlight to make Vitamin D.

Van Hoeck

Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory