Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cultural diversification also drives human evolution

Date:
December 22, 2011
Source:
Universidad de Barcelona
Summary:
Changes in social structure and cultural practices can also contribute to human evolution, according to a new study.

Father and son in the wai’a ceremony at the Xavánte village of Etéñitepa.
Credit: Francisco M. Salzano

Changes in social structure and cultural practices can also contribute to human evolution, according to a study that has recently been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), contributed to by the lecturer Mireia Esparza and assistant Neus Martínez-Abadías, from the Anthropology Unit of the UB's Department of Animal Biology.

Related Articles


The study, coordinated by the expert Rolando González-José from the Patagonian National Research Center (CENPAT-CONICET, Argentina), examines physical, genetic, geographical and climatic patterns affecting over 1,200 people from the Baniwa, Ticuna, Yanomami, Kaingang, Xavánte and Kayapó indigenous groups of the Brazilian Amazon and Central Plateau.

According to the experts behind the study, one of the most interesting results is the rapid rate of morphological change in the Xavánte, which is up to 3.8 times faster than in the other groups studied. The changes observed in the Xavánte -- who have larger heads, narrower faces and broader noses -- follow an integration pattern of human skull shape recently described in the literature. "This study demonstrates that when selection acts in the same direction as integration patterns, evolution is favoured," explain the researchers Mireia Esparza and Neus Martínez-Abadías, who co-authored another recent study on morphometric patterns and the evolutionary potential of the human skull ( see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111220102244.htm).

The study suggests that this divergence is also independent of the Xavánte's geographical separation from other population groups and differences in climate. According to the team of experts, the combination of cultural isolation and sexual selection could be the driving force behind the changes observed. To conclude their study, the authors hypothesize that gene-culture co-evolution could in fact be the dominant model throughout the history of the human evolutionary lineage.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Hunemeier, J. Gomez-Valdes, M. Ballesteros-Romero, S. de Azevedo, N. Martinez-Abadias, M. Esparza, T. Sjovold, S. L. Bonatto, F. M. Salzano, M. C. Bortolini, R. Gonzalez-Jose. Cultural diversification promotes rapid phenotypic evolution in Xavante Indians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1118967109

Cite This Page:

Universidad de Barcelona. "Cultural diversification also drives human evolution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111222161213.htm>.
Universidad de Barcelona. (2011, December 22). Cultural diversification also drives human evolution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111222161213.htm
Universidad de Barcelona. "Cultural diversification also drives human evolution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111222161213.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Long-Lost Ship Found? Microsoft Co-Founder Uncovers Wreckage

Long-Lost Ship Found? Microsoft Co-Founder Uncovers Wreckage

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has discovered the wreckage of the battleship Musashi in the central Philippines. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ancient Mummified Monk Found Inside Golden Buddha

Ancient Mummified Monk Found Inside Golden Buddha

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 4, 2015) — A gold statue of Buddha housed at Hungary&apos;s Natural History Museum has been discovered to contain the mummified body of an ancient Chinese monk. Gavino Garay reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Was The Wealthy Woman Buried Near King Richard III?

Who Was The Wealthy Woman Buried Near King Richard III?

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) — A woman thought to have been an important person in Grey Friars monastery was found in a coffin near King Richard III. Her identity is unknown. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mass Grave Found Under Paris SuperMarket

Mass Grave Found Under Paris SuperMarket

Buzz60 (Mar. 3, 2015) — Dozens of bodies were found under the Monoprix Supermarket in Paris. The company called in researchers to inspect the ground underneath where a hospital once existed from the 12th century to the 17th. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins