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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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Other Species Affect Our Biogeography

Other Species Affect Our Biogeography

(p.215) 9 Other Species Affect Our Biogeography
Human Biogeography

Alexander H. Harcourt

University of California Press

Parasites and diseases vary regionally, and therefore so does human physiology. For example, people who live in malarial areas have a different hemoglobin than do people who live outside malarial regions. Some diseases have probably slowed conquerors, because they were not adapted to the diseases of the invaded regions. Yellow fever, for example, prevented the French from building the Panama Canal, and therefore from invading Panama. On the other hand, the invaders brought new diseases into the conquered regions to which the residents were not resistant. These diseases, as much as superior firepower, aided the conquests.

Keywords:   conquest, disease, imperialism, malaria, sleeping sickness, tsetse fly, yellow fever

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