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Humans may evolve bizarre features such as webbed feet and eyes like cats in response to changing environments, a scientist claims today.
Experts calculated how our physical appearance could change under a number of scenarios, including a 'water world' if melting ice caps cause rising sea levels.
Dr Matthew Skinner, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Kent, examined the three scenarios and worked with artist Quentin Devine to help visualise how humans could look in the future.
Dr Skinner said some changes – such as webbed feet and hands becoming widespread – could take place very quickly as some humans already have a genetic mutation that produces webbing.
To adapt to a 'water world', Dr Skinner expects humans would develop webbed hands and eyes like those of cats to help us see in the poor lighting conditions underwater.
We would also retain a layer of baby fat into adulthood as an insulator for spending long periods submerged.
Regular foraging in shallow waters could lead us to develop artificial 'gills' to help us breathe, extracting oxygen from the water and delivering it to the bloodstream.
We might also evolve an extra translucent eyelid to protect the eyes from water.
In the scenario of an ice age, Dr Skinner predicts that our skin would become very pale to help us produce more vitamin D from less sunlight, we would have more body hair, and we would develop more muscular physiques.
Our noses and face size would increase to help warm inhaled cold air in the nasopharynx, the area behind the nose.
We would become stronger, as reduced resources and technologies would mean physical power becomes more important.
originally posted by: NewzNose
a reply to: IAMTAT
It is not something I will add to my worry list.
originally posted by: crayzeed
I think I'm a doctor or something because I wear a white coat sometimes. So I think humans will get bigger ears in the future because elephants have big ears to disipate their body heat, so therefore, because of global warming for humans to survive they have to develope bigger ears.
originally posted by: IAMTAT
Okay, now this is scary. According to a scientist involved with 'Global Warming' research, global warming is going to start mutating humans into looking like 'Aquaman'...and give rise to Mermaids and Mermen.