- Japan Association for Quaternary Research
- 第四紀研究 (ISSN:04182642)
- vol.12, no.4, pp.265-269, 1974-02-28 (Released:2009-08-21)
In this paper, the author discussed man's adaptation to the cold and formation of the northern Mongoloids in the light of human adaptability to the climatic conditions.It is widely known that the mammals generally show several adaptations to the climate, among which the most effective factors seem to be the light and the temperature. For instance, in the field of mammalian ecology, the rules proposed by GLOGER, BERGMANN and ALLEN are generally accepted, and they can be also applied on microevolution of the human populations to some extent. Thus, it is said that the Caucasoids have adapted to the cold and moist climate with low radiation of ultraviolet rays, and the Negroids to the environment with high temperature and excessive radiation of ultraviolet rays. In parallel to this, the Mongoloids are regarded as having adapted to the very low temperature and dry weather.However, adaptation in this direction has likely occurred in or just after the latest stage of the Upper Paleolithic, because the Mongoloids from this stage such as the Upper Cave Men show almost no evidence of adaptation to the extremely cold temperature.In this respect, the modern Mongoloids living in the arctic areas may be regarded as the people who acquired their adaptability to the cold in relatively recent stages of evolution. On the other hand, we can find some other populations who retain more or less archaic characters of the Mongoloids in peripheral areas of the Asian and the American Continents, and even in the sub-arctic areas.For instance, the Ainu has so far been attributed their origin to the Caucasian stock. Several recent findings on their blood composition, dermatoglyphics and dental characteristics, however, show close affinity to the Mongoloids.On the other hand, the Ainu still shows unique characteristics in quite rich beard and body hairs, relatively thin subcutaneous fat, partially projected facial bones, etc., and these characteristics do not show high degree of adaptability to the cold climate.On the basis of these fact, it is quite likely that the Ainu might be one of branches of the Mongoloid stock who has less experience to live under the extremely cold environment, and still retains some archaic characters compared with the neighbouring populations. Naturally, this hypothesis should be checked by several other data from the fields of anthropology, prehistory, geology, and other related sciences.