1. Alex

    Why are Northern-European-descendant populations larger/stouter than those of other populations?

    A few hypotheses—

    1). Bergmann’s Rule. Within a given species, the average size increases as the average temperature decreases. This makes sense in terms of optimizing heat-conservation, and is seen throughout the Class Mammalia.


    2). Greater proportion of Steppe pastoralist (ie Indo-Europeans of the Yamnaya Culture) and Cro-Magnons vs Anatolian Farmers.

    Modern day Europeans descend predominantly from three ancestral populations of Homo sapiens—Cro-Magnons (ie the first members of our species to successfully colonize Europe around 45,000 years before present; coexisted/absorbed/outcompeted Homo Neanderthalensis; Cro-Magnons had a build that was considerably more robust than successive waves of colonizers; unsurprisingly, modern populations with heavy-CM ancestry tend to be more robust those with less); followed by a migration of farmers from Anatolia around 8,000 ybp (which make up a good portion of the ancestry of Southern Europeans, especially Italians and Iberians; the Basque language might be a living relict from this wave; the Anatolian farmers were on average the most gracile and shortest of the three source-populations, which is partially why, for example, Italians tend to be smaller than Scandinavians); and lastly, the Steppe Pastoralists, who invaded and subjugated Europe 3,000-5,000 ybp, and were rather tall and lanky in build.

    Northern Europeans are not only largely Cro-Magnon (robust build, broad shoulders, thick bones) and steppe pastoralists (tall) in ancestry (so tall+robust…like a Badger offensive lineman hehehe), they also might have inherited the more bellicose demeanor of their Steppe pastoralist ancestors, all the better for “battling in the trenches.”

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