The Skin I’m In: Why do humans have different Skin Color?

 Why do people have different skin color? One reason is because some people’s ancient ancestors evolved in colder climates, while others evolved in warmer climates. Humans might have different colored skin for a variety of reasons.

            One reason has to do with UV rays. As people moved to areas further from the equator with lower UV levels, natural selection favored lighter skin, which allowed UV rays to penetrate and produce essential vitamin D. This shows that if you move away from the equator you will not get black, but away from equator you will be light or white. (“Human Skin Color Variation”).

Early humans first developed dark-colored skin. The darker skin of people who lived closer to the equator was important in preventing foliate deficiency. Less hairy skin was a problem for early humans because it was exposed to a very strong sun! Our early ancestors moved into hot and open land. As a result, they lost their hair and grew more sweat glands (that way they could survive in hot climates). These early humans developed dark-skin in order to protect themselves from UV rays. (“Human Skin Color Variations”)

Ancient coastal people who ate diets rich in sea food enjoyed this alternate source of vitamin D. That means some Arctic people, such as native people of Alaska and Canada, can remain dark-skinned even in low UV areas so people away from the equator eat sea food so they can have vitamin D and even though they live there they can be dark-skinned (“Human Skin Color Variation”)

In conclusion, skin color developed for a variety of reasons. People were born in hot areas, so when they moved to colder climates people came out white. So now do you know why people have different skin color?

Works Cited

“Human Skin Color Variation.” Smithsonian Museum of Natural Histroy.Web. November 9, 20  2012.


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