Why did different skin colors evolve in humans?
Variations in human skin color are adaptive traits that correlate closely with geography and the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Since strong sun exposure damages the body, the solution was to evolve skin that was permanently dark so as to protect against the sun’s more damaging rays.
Darker skin colors evolved because they provided increased fitness in early human populations living in equatorial Africa. Darker skin protects circulating folate from being broken down. Some human populations migrated out of Africa to places where UV radiation was less intense.
What color were early humans?
These early humans probably had pale skin, much like humans’ closest living relative, the chimpanzee, which is white under its fur. Around 1.2 million to 1.8 million years ago, early Homo sapiens evolved dark skin.
Why did human skin colors evolve over time?
Skin color is one of the most obvious and (literally) superficial ways humans differ. But the evolutionary story behind this variation is shared: Over the course of human evolution, complexion evolved from light to dark to a continuous gradient, mediated by geography, genes and cultural practices.
How did skin color evolve according to Gregor Mendel?
Gregor Mendel found this to be true in his pea plants, and while skin color is governed non-mendelian inheritance, it is still true that darker colors tend to be more prevalent in a blending of traits in skin color than lighter skin colors are. Scoville, Heather. “How Did Skin Color Evolve?”
Why do some people have lighter skin color than others?
Modern Human Diversity – Skin Color. Yet when a certain amount of UV rays penetrates the skin, it helps the human body use vitamin D to absorb the calcium necessary for strong bones. This delicate balancing act explains why the peoples that migrated to colder geographic zones with less sunlight developed lighter skin color.
How do people end up with different skin colors?
There are three ways people can end up with different skin color. One way is that lesser the pigmentation lighter the skin. Another way is when people have fewer melanocytes. The third way is a bit more complicated and has to do with the kind of pigment someone makes.