Biological Adaptation of Man to His Environment: Heat, Cold, Altitude and Nutrition YouTube Lecture Handouts

Doorsteptutor material for competitive exams is prepared by world's top subject experts: get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of your exam.

Title: Biological Adaptation of Man to His Environment: Heat, Cold, Altitude and Nutrition

Biological Adaptation of Man to His Environment : Heat, Cold, Altitude and Nutrition | Anthropology


  • Climatic Extremes: Principal problem of maintaining body equilibrium.
  • Nutritional term: Necessary metabolic Balance.
  • Physiological and Morphological adjustments to Environmental extremes.

Morphological Adjustments to Heat & Cold

  • Body size and proportions
  • Subcutaneous fat
  • Skin Pigmentation
  • Sweat glands

Physiological Adjustment to Heat

  • Lower mass/Surface Ratio: lower sweating
  • Maintain more normal core temperature: Heat Stressing
  • Linear in build, low in subcutaneous fat
  • Brunet in skin colour with high tanning potential

Physiological Adjustments to Cold

  • Metabolic Acclimatization to cold
  • Vasodilation
  • Insulative cooling mechanism

Morphological & Physiological Adjustments to Altitude

  • At 2 to 3 miles altitudes the air contains only or half the oxygen as at sea level: oxygen debt
  • Adaptation due to: Tremendous size of chest, large lungs, increase in blood volume, expanded capillary bed, arterial oxygen saturation, increase in methemoglobin, increase in red cells, slow heartbeat,

Bodily Adjustment to Nutrition

  • Over one half of world population has a food intake barely sufficient to maintain life.
  • Some human populations have made extraordinary dietary adaptations.
  • Small-body-size, slower growth, maturation retarded


  • Thus, the means of perceiving the mode of inheritance of body size and proportions, skin pigmentation and sweat-gland function, heat production and the hunting phenomenon of vasodilation, oxygen pick-up and transport and quantitative and qualitative dietary tolerance may be nearer at hand than we think.
  • The relationship between man՚s adaptations to his climatic and nutritional environments and his reactions to disease that promise rich scientific dividends to the broad front populations approach.

Developed by: