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Abhiram Lohit

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What is the reason for the nose structure differences between Caucasoid and Negroid types?

In general, the Caucasoid nose is narrow, thin and high - almost continuing downward from the forehead. On the other hand, the Negroid nose is broad, flat and low.

Is there an anthropological explanation for that?

I mean is it the climate differences in Europe and Africa that caused those differences?

And all other races fall somewhere along the line between those two.

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  • Jun 27 2011: I am not sure, but I am wondering if it has anything to do with airflow and hot temperatures. Large nostrils (as per some of the african types) would increase airflow, and maybe allow you to cool down quicker. Similarly smaller nostrils would reduce heat loss in colder climates.

    Another possible theory is that caucasians lived closer together, especially in winter, and infections were moreprevalent. Nostrils which are narrower would mean there was a greater chance for pathogens to get trapped in the mucus than in wider noses. Similarly noses which cover the nostrils (ie curve downwards) would provide a shield as well.

    No idea if this is true, but it seems an interesting hypothesis. That said sexual selection might well have been part of it.
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      Jun 27 2011: Yeah, this is also an interesting explanation.

      However, if early European settlers were hunters predominantly, and they had to run a lot, they would need more intake of air volume. Wouldn't broader nostrils help in more air intake than narrower nostrils?

      Has anybody studied the air volume intake of different types of noses?
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    Jun 27 2011: I think my mother is Caucasoid and my father is Negroid ( I observed their nose very well).What does that make me?
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    Jun 26 2011: This is pure speculation, but does ever difference in humanity have to do with some evolutionary advantage. Perhaps Europeans way back when found a narrower nose more appealing, while Africans found a broader nose sexier for the same reason bell bottoms are fashionable. for one generation, while the next likes acid wash jeans Personally I like to think we were not design purely for functionality, but style was considered to.
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      Jun 26 2011: So then are you saying that the theory of evolution is not universally valid? If all humans are descendants of people from Africa, then without a need for change, the change wouldn't have happened.

      Just like the skin turned whiter because of lesser sunlight, maybe there is a reason for changes in structure of nose and other body parts.

      If you say style is a reason, then how many other aspects in nature can be attributed to just whims and not necessities?
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        Jun 26 2011: First off you asked a question I never pondered before and thought it was interesting. I did a fast google scan and found nothing that made any sense. The answer I gave is based on about 10 minutes of me going hmm. If someone here comes up with a real answer I will gracefully yield my argument.
        That established I will defend my argument till corrected.

        I am not denying evolution, but incorporating culture into it. Humans evolved to live in tribes. This allows us enough of such an evolutionary advantage that perhaps not every choice that is made is life and death. Now how much people seek novelty could be more of a evolutionary fork in the road. Maybe those that ventured out of Africa were more novelty seeking on some small level. This may have led them to see different facial structures as more attractive on some small scale, and after a thousand centuries or so we have a recognizable facial difference. Well maybe, maybe not.
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          Jun 27 2011: No, your explanation is still a possibility. Mating partners could select each other based on one or another characteristic feature.

          But that doesn't explain the systematic change.
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        Jun 27 2011: Well faces play a pivotal role in someone level of attraction. Likely more so in hunter gather times. No one had fast food to grease their skin and fill out their gut. Likewise no one spent much time shaping their butt with pilates. I'm guessing what beauty standard that people had held a bit more sway causing a more systematic approach. This was done at a time when there were few people and people mated with those in proximity. Once any small change was started it would be hard to undo, and most likely snowball.

        This or maybe our African forefathers just decided to exile all those with small noses. People aren't exactly the most rational creatures.
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