Re: Morgan; various
7 Nov 1995 02:41:24 GMT
Paul Crowley (Paul@crowleyp.demon.co.uk) sez:
`Our ancestors must have had a significant death rate from exposure.
`Surely the most obvious selective response to this during the last
`N Myr would have been to put on a bit of fur? Most European males
`have hairy legs (and many females). It would have been so easy to
`make that hair a bit thicker - and to get some hair back on the
`trunk. The goose-pimple response is still there. My hairy chest
`and back keep me noticeably warmer than most.
I s'pose this is neither here nor there, but I caught on tv
this week a short item about a mexican family that has a
hereditary tendency to extreme hirsuteness. The interesting part
for me, as I expect this is caused by a single alteration
at one gene location, was to see that the result was dense
hair on the face and neck, for both males and females,
though the males showed slightly more dense, but over the
rest of the bodies the density was only slightly heavier
than for a particularly hairy northern european. I suppose
there is no way of knowing for sure whether this reveals
the distribution of hair on our distant ancestors, the way
a single alteration on the genome of birds causes them to
grow a set of uniform conical teeth like those of their
dinosaur forebears, but the possibility can't be discounted.
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