Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

To Afford Protection Against Climate and Weather

  • Ian GilliganEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3010-1



Humans invented clothes as artificial protection from cold to compensate for the loss of body fur which became a critical survival issue during the Pleistocene ice ages. The physiological function of clothing as thermal insulation is reviewed, along with archaeological evidence for the development of complex clothes and later textile fabrics as adaptations to changing climates.


Adaptation to the thermal environment is crucial to the survival of all living things. Extremes of heat and cold exert selection pressures on animal species, resulting in both biological and behavioral adaptations to climate.

Primates are generally adapted to life in warm climates and early hominins evolved in the tropics of Africa. A number of unusual traits – upright posture, sweating, and the loss of body fur –...


Last Glacial Maximum Modern Human Wind Chill Early Hominins Moderate Wind Speed 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia