Lousy News

The Human Body Louse (Pediculus humanus var. corporis)

One of the most pervasive of human inventions is clothing. Yet, despite its ubiquity, it has been difficult for anthropologists to pinpoint even an approximate date for its invention. Estimates have ranged from 40,000 to 1 million years ago, with essentially no definitive evidence for one date or another.

Now, through a clever deduction, scientists have attained what appears to be a reasonable guess as to when human beings or their ancestors first devised garments. Using DNA to trace the evolutionary split between human head lice and body lice, researchers have concluded that body lice arose approximately 190,000 years ago. We may conclude, they suggest, that the invention of clothing preceded this split by some relatively brief interval.

For more details see Lice Hang Date on First Clothes in Science News.

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

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