Biology Forum › Evolution › Humans Natural Habitat/Optimal Environment
March 2, 2014 at 10:30 pm #17765AnopsologyParticipant
Ive been wondering about where humans should be living. Where is our actual natural habitat?
I know all about Blue Zones and the longevity that humans have who live there….but
Where should we be living?
For years I have been pondering about Homo Sapiens natural habitat. This includes all aspects from lifestyle to nutrition to sun exposure, etc….
It started when i was getting into instinctive nutrition. I was eating a lemon thinking… Why does my body love citrus so much? Did my ancestors love citrus! Where did they live? Did they live in some type of bountiful utopia? Where they nomadic travelers?
So, after a few few more weeks of studying diet, nutrition and human instincts I started heavily researching evolution again.. in attempt to shed some light on some questions Ive always had about where we are meant to live. One theory that will always make the most since to me is the most popular "Out of Africa" theory. Simply stated some of our ape like ancestors stumbled out of the African Rainforest (for what ever reason) and onto the African savanna. Here they adapted and explored new ways of living and surviving. So a big part of our evolutionary history happened in the African Savanna! So is the African Savanna where we should be living? Is this where all the food we should be eating is?
Arent all the other primates in optimal habitats for there specific needs?
Or does each specific nationality or "type" of person have a location that fits them best?
I am tall and skinny and have the body type built for the African Savanna or somewhere hot…
but I am Caucasian and would my skin not be best suited for a northern climate?
So once again
Where is our natural/optimal habitat
Where should we be living?
Would we thrive best in Africa?
All I know is that we were meant to live somewhere warm… Somewhere with a constant tempearture around 70 degrees or so
March 4, 2014 at 6:04 am #115144Babybel56Participant
It’s an interesting question. The out of Africa hypothesis would apply to those ancient ancestors who once left the continent, but evolution did not stop after we left. As you mentioned your height and physical stature may make you better suited to warmer temperatures, but that isn’t to say that your interior metabolism would be happiest here. Though there is a narrow band of temperatures/humidities etc. that humans can survive in, within those limits there are a degree of flexibility. There is a reason you can sweat, your hairs can piloerect and blood vessels can expand and shrink depending on the temperature. It may be that several different environments may be perfect for different "versions" of you.
Things like food are more difficult to answer because what you need depends on where you are. For example sailors lost at sea for a certain amount of time find that they are eventually drawn to the eyes of fish because these contain the greatest quantity of non-salty water – something they presumably lack whilst at sea. Your craving for citrus fruits may reflect your body’s desire for vitamin C or some other compound, but once this is sated your craving my disappear. My personal take on the "natural" diet is that ancient ancestors living in a forest will eat whatever they can find – they didn’t have the choice. They may indeed have had cravings like you do, but with our greater choice of foods today we have a far better and easier job to find a balanced diet than they did. We just may decide not to. It’s made especially difficult by the number of conflicting opinions today about what we should eat – particularly regarding certain vitamins and things like MSG (so far no categorical proof that it’s bad for you, but I’m living in China at the moment and they eat so much of it here!)
Finally my personal take on the "perfect environment" idea is that it’s a disaster. You can compare evolution to the capitalist market if you like, in that stagnation is a disaster. You need things to stay dynamic in order for change to happen, and that change is essential. Whilst at this point in time you may prefer one environment to all others you will be able to adapt to others. The perfect environment in one that challenges us without any severe physical symptoms.
March 5, 2014 at 11:31 pm #115157GannetParticipant
From Maniguet, Xavier; SURVIVAL, HOW TO PREVAIL IN HOSTILE ENVIRONMENTS; BARNES & NOBLE BOOKS; NEW YORK, NY; 1994; p031quote :Man may be considered a tropical animal because when he is naked and unprotected, the temperature of his surroundings must be 82.4°F (28°C) for his metabolism to be maintained at a minimum base level, and for him to remain in thermal equilibrium.
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