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Thread: Climate Rules for the Development of Bodily Characteristics

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    Climate Rules for the Development of Bodily Characteristics

    Bergmann's rule: body height

    Within a warm-blooded species, the races in the colder zones are usually bigger than those in warmer zones. There's a negative correlation between the average weight of a population and the average annual temperature of its living space; the higher the average annual temperature, the lower the average weight.
    The Indianids show a gradation of measures (height; head size) from the two cold zones up to the equatorial zone.

    Interpretation of this result of selection:
    Heat emission of the body is proportional to the surface, but heat production proportional to the volume of bodies. At bigger bodies the surface is in relation to the volume smaller.
    In colder climates the genetically bigger variants of a warm-blooded form survive better, as they can resist because of their relatively small surface (in relation to their volume) better against chilling through.

    Allen's rule: body extremities

    Allen's rule is in close connection to Bergmann's rule.
    Within a species, at the groups which live in a colder climate the distant body parts have a less share of the total surface than at those in colder climates.

    To make the relation between heat emission and production conveniant, those groups who are in colder climates tend to be rather stocky, while those who are in warmer climates tend to be rather slimm. An indicator is here the leg length, and this seems first as a contradiction to Bergmann's rule, as the leg length is in a relation to the total body length. A reducing of the leg length leads to a minor surface in relation to the volume, but also to a reducing of the heigth.

    The explanation is that when a small body is made bigger, but the parts keep the same proportions, the bigger body has less surface in relation to the volume than the smaller one had. But when a small body is made bigger through a lengthening of the legs, the parts of the bigger body show among themselves other proportions, and the surface of the body needn't become smaller in relation to the volume.
    So when in contrary to Bergmann's rule,populations are small in cold zones, they have relatively short legs, and when they are high in hot zones, they have relatively long legs (certain Negrid groups!).
    Allen's rule can be taken as a rule of proportion, the relation of body length to body mass.

    Allen's rule could also give an explanstion of the Mongolid facial flatness (which already Kant interpreted in 1775 as an adaption to cold climate):
    a) Reduction of facial surface to a minimum through flattening of all projections as much as possible.
    b) Padding of the surface with fat to prevent the loss of heat.
    c) Narrowing of the nasal passages, to give the air a maximum of heat at the way to the lungs.

    Gloger's rule: pigmentation

    In wet-warm climates the mellanin production is more intensive than in dry-cold ones, and so darker shades appear in those more often than in these.
    Melanin is produced through the occidation of tyrosin with the influence of ultraviolet rays and vitamin D.
    A strong pigment accumulation in the skin makes the UV radiation to a great extent inefective and therefor protects the organism from an oversupply of it. In zones o not much UV radiation a sparsely pigmented skin lets give the body enough UV radiation because of it being more pervious for UV radiation.

    As compensation of the danger of an overheating of the body,which is itensified because of that, strong pigmented populations like the Negrids have a good thermo-regulation through a higher number of sweat glands per skin surface and a higher intensity of sweat secretion.

    The itensity of UV radiation depends of the distance fromthe equator, sea level, clouds, humidity, air pollution, vegetation and reflexion capability of the ground.
    It is less intensive at the west coasts of the continents and in the temperate zones. It is more intensive in equator-near, dry zones, high mountain regions and in the arctic.

    Thomson-Buxton's rule: nasal breadth

    The nasal breadth plays also a role for thermo-regulation: Generally, the nasal index, the relation of nasal breadth to height, gets bigger from dry-cold to wet-warm climates.
    When the instreaming breath pillar passes a wide channel,it floods better and is less influenced by the warm mucous membranes; when the passage is narrow, the breath volume is devided in smaller streams, the flooding occurs slower, and it absorbes more heat from the surface which it passes.

    The nasal index is an indicator of the relation between the size of the nasal mucous membrans to the diameter of the breathing channel. Rather important than the warming is the moistening of the air. Very narrow noses are in dry-cold polar regions, narrow noses in the temperate zones and in dry-hot regions, very broad noses, very broad noses in wet-hot tropical zones.

    Based on information from:
    - Kenntner, Georg: Rasse aus Erbe und Umwelt. Der Mensch im Spannungsfeld seines Lebensraums, Berlin 1975.
    - Schwidetzky, Ilse: Rasse, in: Anthropologie (Fischer-Lexikon 15), ed. by Gerhard Heberer / Ilse Schwidetzky / Hubert Walter, Frankfurt a. M. and Hamburg 1970 (new edition), p. 187-215.
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    There seems to be exceptions to these rules.

    Skandonaivians(Northern Europeans in General) live in Northern Climates yet their faces are quite projecting(3-D) and their extremities quite long. Are they an exception to Allen's rule?

    Also Skandonaivians and Northern Europeans in general seem to be among the tallest Races in Europe. According to Bergmann's rule they should be short not tall. So are they an exception to these rules or are there other explanations for this?

    On a side note if anyone knows:
    Why Do Europeans are Orthognathous in Facial Morphology(and in general what causes Prognathism as opposed to Orthgnathism)? Please enlighten me.

    Interesting article by the way. :icon_ques

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    I believe the Nordics developed in a slighty lower latitude. The large Nordic and Upper Paleolithic survivors should be treated as an exception because of the other conditional extremes necessary for their survival: i.e. hunting, fishing, constant migration, and sporadic eating conditions (which would quickly eliminate those with a disadvantage in hunting/food gathering, generally selecting the largest and strongest of the tribe.) I have a medium body build which I apply to Upper Paleolithic survivors, although I would be more interested to see which bone/muscular builds apply to which Nordish subtypes.






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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern_Paladin
    There seems to be exceptions to these rules.
    They are of course one factor of selection, but not the only evolutionary factor, so that there is a general accordance and tendency of validity of the rules, but not an absolute one.

    Most of the rules, by the way, were first set up generally for warm-blooded animals, not directly for man. Anthropologists then realized the connection them with the geographical varieties of man, the human races.

    Skandonaivians(Northern Europeans in General) live in Northern Climates yet their faces are quite projecting(3-D) and their extremities quite long. Are they an exception to Allen's rule?
    Schwidetzky noticed that Allen's rule was the one of the four that fits "not so well" to man (though with the named Mongolid and Negrid examples it has its certain validity).

    I don't know in the moment if the extremities of Nordids are in relation to their trunk and whole body mass really longer than the same relation is among other Europid (Caucasian) types located farther South. It's clearly for me in comparison with the Alpinids, but not to other Europid types in Europe and Asia, who have maybe smaller extremities than the Nordids, but also smaller and more gracile bodies and trunks. : But you may be right, and the rule doesn't apply here.

    Also Skandonaivians and Northern Europeans in general seem to be among the tallest Races in Europe. According to Bergmann's rule they should be short not tall. So are they an exception to these rules or are there other explanations for this?
    Bergmann's rule: body height

    Within a warm-blooded species, the races in the colder zones are usually bigger than those in warmer zones. [...]


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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy
    I believe the Nordics developed in a slighty lower latitude. The large Nordic and Upper Paleolithic survivors should be treated as an exception because of the other conditional extremes necessary for their survival: i.e. hunting, fishing, constant migration, and sporadic eating conditions (which would quickly eliminate those with a disadvantage in hunting/food gathering, generally selecting the largest and strongest of the tribe.) I have a medium body build which I apply to Upper Paleolithic survivors, although I would be more interested to see which bone/muscular builds apply to which Nordish subtypes.
    Nordics of the Hallstatt type and in general developed in the Danube region of South Eastern Europe. The Hallstatt type is a blend of Danubians with the Corded types which also originate in South Eastern Europe. They then migrated to Skandonaivia. So they are fairly recent arrivals when compared to the aboriginal European populations such as the Saami.

    Here's a good link: http://www.fikas.no/~sprocket/snpa/chapter-IV8.htm

    Types that are predominantly Nordic usually have "gracile" frames. The bones are thin and muscle build light to medium. For the Hallstatt type the Legs are longer then the trunk and the arms rather short.

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    Coons is a bad source partly but I want to add that Nordids came up, no matter if more due selection or mixture, in a time in which Europe was relatively warm and they are no cold type. You can see the relation if looking at the Ice Age population which was more mesomorphic, even pyknomorphic and predominantely of Cromagnoid types. The leptomorphics became dominant mostly after the Ice Age and during the later times of great migrations and new innovations during and after the beginning Neolithicum and Bronze Age.
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