Press Release: Pygmies evolved short stature to navigate dense rainforest environment

Wednesday, November 07 - Toulouse - New study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B links biological evolution to culture and environment.

Vivek V. Venkataraman and his team tested a biomechanical model among two short-statured populations from the rainforest: the Batek of Peninsular Malaysia and the Tsimane of the Bolivian Amazon. The challenge of locomotion in dense rainforests explains why the adult men of pygmy populations can be as short as 150cm (4ft 11in). Footfall patterns and walking speed are less compromised for short than for tall individuals. Human evolution is linked to the way people move in their natural environment.

Press release online