ANT101H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Large Ground Finch, Cladistics, Psittacula
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Lecture 5 - Adaptations to Environment and Classification
January 23, 2013
Adaptive Significance of Human Variation
1. Types of Adaptation to Environment
oAdult acclimatization. Ex. if you're an adult and move to a higher
elevation region, your body will increase its hemoglobin production so
you can carry more oxygen to breathe better. Once you move back to a
lower region, your hemoglobin levels will go back to normal. Ex. if you
stay out of sun, you will get a tan. Once you stay away from it long
enough, your tan will eventually fade. This is a reversible process.
oDevelopmental acclimatization. Ex. babies born in higher elevation
regions are born with larger lungs to have room to breathe better. This
process is not reversible, as the baby will have large lungs for the rest of
their life. But it is not genetic, so their kids won't have big lungs if they
are born in lower region areas.
b) Evolutionary (genetic) change occurs over a long period of time, effecting a
2. Skin Colour, Solar Radiation, Vitamin D. Page 55 - 56, 81 - 84.
3. Responses to Heat, Cold and High Altitude
a) Heat: Our body produces sweat which helps naturally cools us down. It is a
short term effect, which has an immediate response like tanning. A theory is that
humans have a loss of body hair unlike monkeys as an adaptation to the heat.
b) Cold: Our body takes a lot of energy to keep us warm. If you cold a lot, your
body trying to heat you up will cause your metabolic rates to increase.
c) Bergmann's and Allen's rules: Humans that like in high altitude populations like
the Inuit, tend to be stocky with short limbs so they can preserve body heat.
People in hotter climates have longer thinner limbs.
d) High altitude: When you travel to higher altitude areas, your body creates more
hemoglobin so that you can breathe better.
4. Infectious Disease. Page 89 - 93.
oA zoonotic disease is a disease that is transmitted to humans through the
contact of an animal.
oInfluenza is a contagious respiratory disease caused by virus strains. Like
HIV, is it a zoonotic disease because humans get through contact with pigs