The investigation he led Cambridge Universities, located in Great Britain, and Tobinga, located in Germany, concluded that The average human body size fluctuates greatly Over time and what is It is closely related to temperature.
The A study published in the journal Nature Communications It indicates that Cold climates prompted the development of larger bodies, while warmer and smaller onesأجسام. Researchers believe that the larger size acts as a buffer from the cold temperatures.
In turn, the study indicates that Brain size has also changed dramatically, although they did not develop at the same rate as their body size.
To reach these conclusions, the multidisciplinary team of researchers collected various measurements of body and brain size for more than 300 hominid fossils found around the world, according to an article in Cambridge University.
Combining this data with reconstructions of the world’s regional climates over the past million years, experts have determined the specific climate that each fossil experienced when it was a living human.
According to research, the development of our species is characterized by a tendency to increase in body and brain size. Compared to previous species such as Homo habilis, we are 50% heavier and our brains are three times larger. However, the reasons for these changes are still highly debated by the scientific community.
“Our study indicates that climate – and especially temperature – has been the main driver of changes in body size over the past million years,” said Professor Andrea Manica, a researcher in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, who led the study. .
According to the specialist, “We can see in people who live today that those who live in warmer climates tend to be smaller, and those who live in cooler climates tend to be larger.” “We now know that the same climatic influences have been at work for a million years,” he added.
The researchers also looked at the effect of environmental factors on brain size in the human species, although the associations were generally weak. Brain size tended to be greater when humans lived in less vegetated habitats, such as open steppes and grasslands, but also in more ecologically stable areas..
After combining these findings with archaeological data, it was concluded that the inhabitants of these habitats hunted larger animals for food, a complex task that would have prompted the evolution of larger brains.
“The environment affects our body size much more than it does our brain,” said Manuel Weil of the University of Tübingen.
in this way, Research suggests that non-environmental factors were more important than weather in driving great mindsAmong them are the cognitive challenges of increasingly complex social life, more diverse diets and more advanced technology.
The writers, in turn, argue that There is “strong evidence” that the human body and brain size continues to evolve.
In this sense, they argue that the structure of our species continues to adapt to different temperatures, and that larger people, on average, currently live in cooler climates.
On the other hand, human brain size appears to have decreased since the beginning of the Holocene (about 11,650 years ago). Along these lines, the authors suggest that increasing reliance on technology, such as outsourcing complex tasks to computers, may cause brains to shrink even more within the next millennia.