When early humans moved to northern climates, they draped themselves in loose-fitting animal hides. These doubled as a sleeping bag, baby carrier, and hand protection when chiseling stone. Later, around 30,000 years ago, the use of a needle allowed for a change in clothing. Late ice-age clothing was designed to be worn in layers, so a tailor would choose animal skins from different regions and stitch them together into a single garment.
Although mammals are able to maintain stable core body temperatures, humans do not. Throughout history, people have learned how to adjust to climate changes through cultural patterns and technological advances. Studies of fossil records will help us better understand human evolution. It is possible that humans evolved to live in a colder climate after a period of warmth in a warmer one. That would seem to be a significant step in human evolution.
While it is possible that modern humans can adapt to a new environment, the speed at which we can do so is unknown. Recent modern human populations have probably adapted to cold and dry climates. The question is, when did our ancestors reach that point? What happened in between? And how did the modern human lineage adapt to a colder climate? Our answer is not as simple as this, but we can speculate on its origin.
The study reveals that early human ancestors might have adapted to a colder environment with a genetic variant that we share today. This gene variant is found in Europeans and is likely responsible for the ability to feel cold. Researchers at UCL have uncovered the evolutionary history of the TRPM8 gene, which codes for the only receptor known to help humans detect cool temperatures. The TRPM8 receptor is responsible for the minty smell we associate with mint-based products.
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