Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×
Earth Science

Climate Shaped the Human Nose, Researchers Say (theguardian.com) 57

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Human noses have been shaped by climate, according to research probing variation in the human snout. Researchers say their findings back up the theory that wider nostrils developed in populations living in warm, humid conditions, while populations living in high latitudes, such as northern Europe, developed narrower nostrils as an adaptation to the chilly, dry conditions. Writing in the journal Plos Genetics, researchers from the U.S., Ireland and Belgium describe how they began to unpick variations in nose shape by using 3D facial imaging to take a host of measurements from 476 volunteers of south Asian, east Asian, west African and northern European ancestry. The results revealed that only two out of seven nose-related traits were found to differ more between the populations than would be expected from the impact of random, chance changes in genetic makeup over time. The authors say that suggests variations in those traits have been influenced by natural selection. With further analysis, based on data from participants of west African and European ancestry, confirming that nose shape is highly heritable, the team looked to see if there was a link between nose shape and climate. The results showed that nostril width is linked to temperature and absolute humidity, with participants whose ancestors lived in warm-humid climates on average having wider nostrils than those whose ancestors lived in cool-dry climates. That, says Arslan Zaidi, co-author of the study from Pennsylvania State University, could be because narrower nasal passages help to increase the moisture content of air and warm it -- a bonus for those in higher latitudes.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Climate Shaped the Human Nose, Researchers Say

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't unpick variations in nose shape by using 3D facial imaging to take a host of measurements from 476 volunteers of south Asian, east Asian, west African and northern European ancestry.

    • As the theme tune to a popular kids' program went: If you can pick it, lick it, roll it and flick it you're a record breaker!

  • You got to wonder what the motive for the U.S. and U.K researchers were, considering both countries have collectively cut off their nose to spite their face. ;)

  • We should devote more of our Student's tuition and my tax money to subsidize studies about stuff I don't give a shit about. Hawk nose, no-nose, skinny nose, broad nose...they all smell the same from my altitude.

    • Well, someone cared at least. Their interests are every bit as valid as yours - if we let the Salt of the Earth dictate how science funds were spent, there wouldn't be much science going on.
  • Climate might have started shaping human nose, but the project was actually completed by plastic surgeons in Los Angeles.
  • how was climate when elephants appeared on the Earth ?
  • Did anyone else misread?
  • No sh*t. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Qbertino ( 265505 )

    As far as evolutionary theory goes, this is about as "Captain Obvious" you can get, imho.

    • As far as evolutionary theory goes, this is about as "Captain Obvious" you can get, imho.

      True, but only the headline here, the research is interesting in that they tested many difference in noses, and isolate only two traits related to climate and proved the rest random.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      IQ has a similar relationship to climate...but we cannot talk about that now can we.

    • As the old saying goes "everyone knows that and scientifically measured and quantified are not the same thing".

  • Not buying it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alan R Light ( 1277886 ) on Saturday March 18, 2017 @08:06AM (#54064681)

    Having spent several months on the polar plateau, I say it's humbug. There's not enough room in the nose to warm up air appreciably, and the extra surface area exposed to cold air is more likely to expose it to frostbite (and chunks falling off) than do anything useful. What good will that air-warmer do once it has fallen off?

    Also, how could any study of the suitability of nose type to climate fail to include at least one polar people, such as the Inuit, Sami, or Chukchi?

  • Like they say, you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your nose.

    • The old saying is: "You can pick your nose and you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your friend's nose."
  • Though why do those living in high altitude South American countries have bigger nasal passages? Or is that just a hold over from migration within the last 40k years?
  • Under the current PC rules, this is Racist. Evolution is Racist! (Just drawing a conclusion for what I have been told.)
  • Is that why Bill Cosby, others, and I have huge noses? :P

  • I guess this means all our noses are about to change shape.

"If you can, help others. If you can't, at least don't hurt others." -- the Dalai Lama

Working...