Study Traces Lice/Human Evolution to Pinpoint When Humans Started Wearing Clothes
January 10, 2011 1:31 PM
(Source: Jeff Gage, Florida Museum of Natural History)
Researchers concluded that it was 170,000 years ago
University of Florida
researchers have discovered that humans first started wearing clothes approximately 170,000 years ago by tracing the evolution of lice.
David Reed, study leader and associate curator of mammals at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus, along with Melissa Toups, co-author from
who was previously with the University of Florida, and Andrew Kitchen, co-author from
Pennsylvania State University
who used to be with the University of Florida as well, have found than humans started wearing clothes 170,000 years ago in order to migrate out of Africa.
Researchers were able to come to this conclusion by tracing
the evolution of lice
. Lice are used in this particular study because they "stranded on lineages of hosts" over long periods of time. Changes in the parasite allow researchers to understand changes in evolutionary time.
"We wanted to find another method for pinpointing when humans might have first started wearing clothing," said Reed. "Because they are so well adapted to clothing, we know that body lice or clothing lice almost certainly didn't exist until clothing came about in humans."
In 2003, Mark Stoneking, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, conducted a lice study that concluded that humans first began wearing clothes approximately 107,000 years ago. Now the University of Florida researchers are saying otherwise.
Researchers used unique data sets from lice and
in order to make their new estimate of 170,000 years. University of Florida researchers concluded that modern humans began wearing clothes 70,000 years before migrating to higher latitudes and
. This migration occurred about 100,000 years ago. Also, the study found that humans began wearing clothes way after losing their body hair, which was about 1 million years ago according to genetic skin-coloration research.
"It's interesting to think humans were able to survive in Africa for hundreds of thousands of years without clothing and without body hair, and that it wasn't until they had clothing that modern humans were then moving out of Africa into other parts of the world," said Reed.
This new study does have a few weak spots though, because archaic hominins did not leave behind clothing lice that could participate in the study as well. So this study does not take into account that archaic hominins outside of Africa could have been clothed somehow around 800,000 years ago. These archaic humans were able to live for generations outside of Africa while only modern humans stayed until clothing was invented.
"The things that may have made us much more successful in that endeavor hundreds of thousands of years later were technologies like the controlled use of fire, the ability to use clothing, new hunting strategies and new stone tools," said Reed.
Ian Gilligan, lecturer in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at The Australian National University, noted that modern humans probably began making clothing after experiencing
180,000 years ago.
"The new result from this lice study is an unexpectedly early date for clothing, much older than the earliest solid archaeological evidence, but it makes sense," said Gilligan. "It means modern humans probably started wearing clothes on a regular basis to keep warm when they were first exposed to Ice Age conditions."
was published in
Molecular Biology and Evolution
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
Study: Dig Reveals Humans May Have Evolved in Israel
December 31, 2010, 10:57 AM
UPDATED: Fox News Tells Reporters to Deny Earth Has Ever Warmed or Cooled
December 17, 2010, 7:00 PM
Report: Huge CO2 Release Sped Up Ice Age Melt
August 30, 2010, 6:23 AM
PIQ ROBOTTM reveals its new artificial intelligence software
November 29, 2016, 12:59 AM
One more time - Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Around the World
November 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Google’s Smart Contact Lens Project gets halted for 2016
November 20, 2016, 7:00 AM
Cell Research Study shows African Americans have greater immune response to infection
November 10, 2016, 1:00 AM
UTHealth Clinical Trial Shows Progress Using Stem Cells to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
November 8, 2016, 1:00 AM
Uber Partners with Circulation to Pilot Program Connecting Transportation and Digital Health Care
November 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Surface Pro 5 Rumors - New Release Date and Price
April 22, 2017, 6:45 AM
Dell Inspiron 17 7000 – A Premium Laptop featuring 7th Gen Intel Core i7 in a 2-in-1 Frame.
April 19, 2017, 7:45 AM
Tesla will announce electric lorry in September
April 19, 2017, 6:20 AM
SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 580 8GD5 – Great Value for the Money
April 20, 2017, 7:47 AM
Meet the Smartphone with four cameras - Alcatel Flashphone
April 5, 2017, 11:20 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus – Lots of Glass that Breaks Easily
Apr 25, 2017, 7:20 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 – Warning for Pet Owners
Apr 24, 2017, 5:59 AM
Sound Bars and the Costs?
Apr 23, 2017, 6:30 AM
Link your Brain to Your Computer – In Four Years…Maybe
Apr 22, 2017, 7:03 AM
Google Home can now identify users by their voice.
Apr 21, 2017, 7:15 AM
Amazon Lex – Now Available for Developers.
Apr 20, 2017, 6:58 AM
You can now use Instagram offline on your Android Smartphone
Apr 19, 2017, 8:00 AM
Now you can livestream to YouTube from your mobile device.
Apr 18, 2017, 8:05 AM
Google Home – Is It a Spy Device?
Apr 17, 2017, 7:30 AM
Apple added to self –driving test permit list
Apr 15, 2017, 6:21 AM
Project Scorpio – Coming on June 11
Apr 14, 2017, 6:20 AM
Looks Like Samsung Has Been Forgiven.
Apr 13, 2017, 6:50 AM
United Airlines - Blasted on China’s Social Network and the Stock Market
Apr 12, 2017, 6:50 AM
Amazon's Third-Party Sellers Hacked
Apr 11, 2017, 6:25 AM
Microsoft Surface Pro5 Details Revealed
Apr 9, 2017, 6:41 AM
Own An Android Phone? Then you could be hacked over Wi-FI
Apr 7, 2017, 6:47 AM
Apple confirms iOS 10.3 bug and its effect on iCloud Services
Apr 6, 2017, 6:30 AM
Apple Rolls Out New Version of Apple Music
Apr 5, 2017, 10:35 AM
Apple in the News
Apr 4, 2017, 9:03 AM
Apple iPhones Will Soon Feature Graphics Chips Designed BY Apple
Apr 3, 2017, 6:23 AM
AMD Ryzen Desktop Processors Performance
Apr 2, 2017, 6:30 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information