Men from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Croatia, and Montenegro are, on average, the tallest in the world, according to new research that helps to explain why such individuals often grow to six feet and more in height.
Their stature appears to be at least partly a genetic legacy of the Upper Paleolithic Gravettian culture, which…broadly dates to between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago.
“The Gravettian is the most important prehistoric culture of the Upper Paleolithic Europe and is sometimes called ‘the culture of mammoth hunters,'” said lead author Pavel Grasgruber of Masaryk University. “I suspect that this big game specialization associated with a surplus of high-quality proteins and low population density created environmental conditions leading to the selection of exceptionally tall males.”
Prior research conducted by Grasgruber and other scientists connected the Y haplogroup I-M170 [gene] to tall stature.
“We know that the oldest sample carrying I-M170 belongs to a man from the Gravettian culture who lived some 33,000 years ago in Southern Italy,” Grasgruber said…He explained that this group of genes…has been traced to parts of Asia and Europe, including to where many of today’s tallest men live.
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