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Darker Skin is Stronger Skin, Says New View of Human Skin Color

Popular theories of why our human ancestors gained and then lost dark skin over the course of evolution may be incorrect, according to a new paper by UC San Francisco authors, who suggest that heavily pigmented skin evolved because it forms a stronger barrier against a host of environmental challenges. Because deeply pigmented skin requires more energy to produce, they propose, our ancestors shed some of these pigments through natural selection as they moved north and needed less protection against these threats.

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