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The Paleo-Etiology of Human Skin Tone

Why are Europeans white? "White," of course, is a a social designation. The question really is, "Why are northern Europeans depigmented?" [...] Most people know that it has something to do with sunlight, UV, latitude, and vitamin D. [...] But this explanation fails for Europe. Northern Europeans are lighter than everyone to the south (Mediterraneans), to the east (Mongols and east-Asians), to the west (Native Americans across the Atlantic), and to the North (Inuit, Sammi, Chukchi, Aleut). Clearly, there once was a factor at work in Europe other than dim sunlight. [more inside]
posted by symbollocks on Dec 17, 2009 - 90 comments

What Color Is My Pawpawsaurus?

Dinosaur coloration has always been a source of wild speculation. Artistic renders have ranged from the conservative (battleship grey, lizard green) to the flamboyant, but all guesses appeared equally valid. While there are some wonderfully preserved examples of dinosaur skin texture, fossils have remained stubbornly monochromatic… until now. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Aug 11, 2009 - 62 comments

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