Press Esc to close
Wednesday 23 August 2017
News updated at 11:07 PM IST

Europeans got lighter skin only 7,000 years ago?

London, Jan 27, 2014 (IANS) 14:45 IST
Debunking the theory that lighter skin gradually arose in Europeans nearly 40,000 years ago, new research has revealed that it evolved much recently -- only 7,000 years ago.

An ancient male European hunter-gatherer, who lived in modern-day Spain only about 7,000 years ago, had dark skin and blue eyes, the researchers said.

"The findings also hint that light skin evolved not to adjust to the lower-light conditions in Europe as compared to Africa, but instead to the new diet that emerged after the agricultural revolution," said Carles Lalueza-Fox, a paleogenomics researcher at the Pompeu Fabra University in Spain.

"It was assumed that the lighter skin was something needed in high latitudes, to synthesise vitamin D in places where UV light is lower than found in the tropics," Lalueza-Fox was quoted as saying.

The new discovery, however, shows that latitude alone did not drive the evolution of Europeans' light skin, said the study published in the journal Nature.

Analysing two male skeletons found in a labyrinthine cave in the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain in 2006, researchers found the skeletons were about 7,000 years old.

The bodies were covered with red soil, characteristic of Paleolithic burial sites, Lalueza-Fox said.

Several years later, the team revisited the skeletons and extracted DNA from a molar tooth in one of them.

The DNA analysis shows the man had the gene mutation for blue eyes but not the European mutations for lighter skin.

The DNA also shows that the man was more closely related to modern-day northern Europeans than to southern Europeans.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
An artist giving final touches to an idol of Lord Ganesha idols in Chikmagalur in Karnataka...

An artist giving final touches to an idol of Lord Ganesha idols in Chikmagalur in Karnataka...

A worker arranges the clay idols of Lord Ganesh at a road side stall ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi...

A worker arranges the clay idols of Lord Ganesh at a road side stall ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi...

Paramilitary personnel at a mock drill during a flag march in Bathinda...

Paramilitary personnel at a mock drill during a flag march in Bathinda...

Women show their ink-marked fingers after casting votes for Bawana assembly seat by-election...

Women show their ink-marked fingers after casting votes for Bawana assembly seat by-election...

A woman walks through a flooded village in Motihari, Bihar State, India...

A woman walks through a flooded village in Motihari, Bihar State, India...

People are rescued from a flooded village in Motihari, Bihar State...

People are rescued from a flooded village in Motihari, Bihar State...

Derailed coaches of Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express train after it collided with a dumper near...

Derailed coaches of Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express train after it collided with a dumper near...

Two Interceptor boats that would enhance coastal security and monitoring for the Coast Guard...

Two Interceptor boats that would enhance coastal security and monitoring for the Coast Guard...

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture with the message 'Triple Talaq...

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture with the message 'Triple Talaq...

A boy running on a wooden bridge through a floating garden of lotus flowers on...

A boy running on a wooden bridge through a floating garden of lotus flowers on...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.