Virtual Morphology Laboratory of the MNCN and a doctorate from the UAM. “This greater entry of air into the body would be fully consistent with the need for a greater supply of O2 to the body because its muscle mass was greater than in our own species,” adds the researcher. The reason for the greater muscle mass in Neanderthals is somewhat controversial today. Some authors think that it could be an adaptation to hand-to-hand fighting against large prey; others think that it could provide thermal insulation in Neanderthals, since they lived in Europe at a time when the average annual temperature was very low. Others, on the other hand, think that this character could be simply due to genetic drift. Adrián Pablos, a researcher at the National Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH), participates in an extensive study of human fossils of various species,

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recently published in the journal Royal Society Open Science , in which it is suggested that height and mass bodily progress at different speeds in the genus Homo. After analyzing Norway Email List more than 300 fossils of the postcranial skeleton from around the world in a period that spans more than 4 million years to the present, the authors of this study conclude that the variation in body size in human evolution has not followed a straight line, and that it has suffered sudden increases in different periods. “Until recently it was thought that the body was progressively and jointly increasing in weight and height, when in reality it has been growing through a pattern of pulses and stasis,” explains Adrián Pablos. The first “pulse” occurs with the origin of our own gender around two million years ago. In this period, an increase in both height (about 20 centimeters) and weight

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(between 15 and 20 kilograms) is observed. And about 1.5 million years ago, shortly after the appearance of Homo erectus / ergaster, there is another increase in height (about 10 centimeters), followed a million years later, by another in body weight (10- 15 kilograms). “There are a couple of exceptions to this story: Homo naledi and Homo floresiensis , whose recently discovered remains suggest that these species swam against the tide of increasing body size over time,” says Pablos. But overall, our ancestors got taller about a million years before body mass increased across the board. Thereafter, height and average body weight remain roughly the same in the hominin lineage.The human brain is larger than that of our closest living relatives – the chimpanzee, the bonobo, and the gorilla – but this does not explain the functionalities that make the human brain unique.

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