Humans have sparse hair, lots of body fat, ability to sweat a lot and poor upper body strength compared to great apes. The authors compared the bodies of bonobos, the closest living relatives to hominins with human bodies and found that we have a much thin skin and considerably more fat. A life in the hot barren landscapes could have driven these evolutionary changes long before we acquired our higher mental abilities. #Evolution #HumanEvolution
Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution
During human evolution, the body changed in shape, partially to accommodate bipedal locomotion. Concurrently, brain size underwent a three-fold increase recorded in evidence from fossils and from comparative anatomy of chimpanzees, Homo sapiens’ closest living relatives. Because soft tissues like muscle, skin, and fat do not fossilize, and little information is available on these components for the genus Pan, reconstructing tissue changes has primarily relied on what is known about humans. This study presents unique quantitative data on major body components of muscle, bone, skin, and fat of 13 bonobos (Pan paniscus) for interpreting evolutionary forces that have shaped the human form for survival in a savanna mosaic environment.
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