Press Esc to close
Tuesday 17 January 2017
News updated at 2:30 AM IST
Weather
Max: 27.6°C
Min : 15.5°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Europeans got lighter skin only 7,000 years ago?

London, Jan 27, 2014 (IANS)
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
London Olympics bronze medallist grappler Yogeshwar Dutt during his wedding procession at his ...

London Olympics bronze medallist grappler Yogeshwar Dutt during his wedding procession at his ...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand Bill English, left ...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand Bill English, left ...

In this photo taken Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, Kenyan artist Evans Yegon displays one of his paintings

In this photo taken Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, Kenyan artist Evans Yegon displays one of his paintings

BJP President Amit Shah welcomes former Congress leader Yashpal Arya after he was inducted into BJP

BJP President Amit Shah welcomes former Congress leader Yashpal Arya after he was inducted into BJP

People walk under their umbrellas on snow covered road after fresh heavy snowfall in Shimla on ...

People walk under their umbrellas on snow covered road after fresh heavy snowfall in Shimla on ...

A camel performs during the ongoing 24th International Camel Festival in Bikaner on Sunday...

A camel performs during the ongoing 24th International Camel Festival in Bikaner on Sunday...

Art lovers thronging Chitra Santhe organised by Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat on Kumara Krupa...

Art lovers thronging Chitra Santhe organised by Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat on Kumara Krupa...

Large number of art lovers visiting the 14th annual art fair 'Chitra Sante' organized...

Large number of art lovers visiting the 14th annual art fair 'Chitra Sante' organized...

A large number of tourists throng Mysuru Palace as weekend holidays and Mysuru Zoo remain closed...

A large number of tourists throng Mysuru Palace as weekend holidays and Mysuru Zoo remain closed...

People walk on a snow covered road following heavy snowfall at Kandi Area in Budhal, Rajouri...

People walk on a snow covered road following heavy snowfall at Kandi Area in Budhal, Rajouri...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523