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Human Biogeography$
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Alexander Harcourt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520272118

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520272118.001.0001

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How Are We Adapted to Our Environment?

How Are We Adapted to Our Environment?

(p.89) 5 How Are We Adapted to Our Environment?
Human Biogeography

Alexander H. Harcourt

University of California Press

The peoples of different regions, especially different latitudes and altitudes (elevations), are physiologically and anatomically different, because they have adapted to different environments-such as different temperatures, different intensities of sun, and different concentrations of oxygen. Contrasts with latitude are to some extent matched by the anatomical and physiological contrasts between the sexes, and for fundamentally the same reasons. As with species, so with cultures, the tropics are where we find extremes of diversity. In the case of cultures, it could be that the high productivity of the tropics allows people to exist at a viable population size in a small area, meaning that more cultures can be packed into a given area than is the case at higher latitudes.

Keywords:   Allen, Arctic, Bergmann, culture, diversity, Forster, latitude, metabolism, skin, stature, tropics

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