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Vast Diversity in European Hair and Eye Color

Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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11/10/2014 6:53:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Most humans have only one hair color and one eye color. Europeans are a big exception: their hair is black but also brown, flaxen, golden, or red; their eyes are brown but also blue, gray, hazel, or green. This diversity reaches a maximum in an area centered on the East Baltic and covering northern and eastern Europe. If we move outward, to the south and east, we see a rapid return to the human norm: hair becomes uniformly black and eyes uniformly brown.

Why this color diversity? And why only in Europe? http://cogweb.ucla.edu...
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Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,072
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11/13/2014 5:22:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/10/2014 6:53:05 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Most humans have only one hair color and one eye color. Europeans are a big exception: their hair is black but also brown, flaxen, golden, or red; their eyes are brown but also blue, gray, hazel, or green. This diversity reaches a maximum in an area centered on the East Baltic and covering northern and eastern Europe. If we move outward, to the south and east, we see a rapid return to the human norm: hair becomes uniformly black and eyes uniformly brown.

Why this color diversity? And why only in Europe? http://cogweb.ucla.edu...

In that case, why only Europe? Surely other parts of the world have faced similar situations where diversity in hair and eye color would be advantageous.
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chui
Posts: 507
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11/14/2014 12:23:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/13/2014 5:22:36 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 11/10/2014 6:53:05 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Most humans have only one hair color and one eye color. Europeans are a big exception: their hair is black but also brown, flaxen, golden, or red; their eyes are brown but also blue, gray, hazel, or green. This diversity reaches a maximum in an area centered on the East Baltic and covering northern and eastern Europe. If we move outward, to the south and east, we see a rapid return to the human norm: hair becomes uniformly black and eyes uniformly brown.

Why this color diversity? And why only in Europe? http://cogweb.ucla.edu...

In that case, why only Europe? Surely other parts of the world have faced similar situations where diversity in hair and eye color would be advantageous.

The article explains that the European step-tundra of the last ice age was the most extreme in terms of operational sex ratio causing the highest sexual selection pressure for variation of facial characteristics. Other areas do see variation but to a lesser extent.