2019-11-18 - 2019-12-21 | Research area: EvoDevo
The correlation between shape of the nose and climate is one of the most spectacular and convincing examples of natural selection in man. It has been the focus of research for more than 100 years and dozens of studies were done for all parts of the world. But the number of controversies was growing together with the number of studies on mid-facial climatic adaptation. For instance, it is still not quite clear if the face in cold-adapted groups is wide or narrow? tall or short? flat or protruding? These controversies project on the discussion of potentially adaptive features in the face of glacial hominins, mostly Neanderthals.
As early as in 1930s it was shown that the association between climate and facial morphology is stronger at the continental rather than global level which was later confirmed by a number of studies from different parts of the world. Thus, studying this association is expected to be more productive at the continental rather than the global level, and a control for phylogenetic relatedness of studied groups is necessary. In this study, three large datasets were combined in order to explore ecogeographic patterns in four continental regions – Asia, Europe, the Americas - including areas of cold or extreme cold climate and inhabited by populations of different origin.