Articles Blog

Some people have evolved bigger spleens to hunt underwater

Some people have evolved bigger spleens to hunt underwater


How long can you stay underwater? It might depend on the size of your …. wait
for it…spleen. Recent studies have revealed human adaptation to the high altitudes of the Andes and Himalayas. These adaptations involve the ability of blood to carry or hold oxygen in these low-oxygen heights. Now researchers are looking for adaptations in people who spend a lot of time under water. The Bajau people –also known as “Sea Nomads”– have spent thousands of years diving deep underwater without tanks or snorkels. Bajau divers may spend as much as 60 percent of their workday under the surface, spearing fish and harvesting sea cucumbers. mammals, including people have something called a “dive reflex” — which is triggered when you plunge your face into the water. Once submerged, your heart rate slows. Vessels in your extremities constrict- shunting blood to the body’s core. And your spleen gets a big squeeze. This spleen squeeze pumps oxygen-rich red blood cells into the bloodstream. And the researchers in this study found that the Bajau have spleens that are 50 percent larger than their land-based neighbors. It’s possible that these larger spleens may serve as a reservoir for extra oxygenated blood needed for long breathless dives. The researchers then looked to see if there was a genetic component they wanted to know if big spleens are inherited or if something else was going on. After comparing the Bajou DNA with DNA from nearby farmers and from Han Chinese, the team found 25 genes that were different in the Bajou. One notable difference was in a gene called PDE10A. Other researchers had found that in mice, this gene can affect thyroid activity, which in turn affects spleen size. While it is unlikely one gene is responsible for the size of the spleen, the research strongly suggests that there is a genetic component to this spleen enlargement. And it shows whether it’s high-altitude living or deep-diving life, humans have adapted to low-oxygen environments in a number of different ways throughout history I can’t wait to see what we do in space.

39 thoughts on “Some people have evolved bigger spleens to hunt underwater”

  1. This is just the reason for having a higher hematocrit (number of cells in blood). Something known for a long time, for cyclists for instance, that train at high altitudes to performed better afterwards due to more red blood cells that oxygenate the body better.

  2. Wait. I thought all humans were the same? So geographic populations exhibit genetic differences?

    This can't be true. Race is just a social construct. Right guys? …..guys???

  3. It takes like 50 years to domesticate a fox, i watched that a company in looking for fur from them did so, and those foxes, in the same time, have lost a caracteristic in their tails and color which made them useless to that busines at the end. Domestication means on a carnivorous creature that it relinquish to its instinct of hunting and pretending authority, i wonder what does it mean for humans in just the contrary way, what the lust of blood of more than 1000 year, in the worst maner with dreadful tortures, have made on the european people. Have it bring them some kind of superiority in the brain with which they discovered and invented all that stuff in the las 500 years, or did it make them shameless and thiefts by nature, also kind of halfwit?

  4. very interesting finding!! We are trying to regenerate spleen by using special stromal cells in mouse and also to construct spleen like lymphoid tissues artificially

  5. Wait does this mean that we can evolve ourselves? or do you need to have a child in a specific region or place that is not common to many people

  6. Don't genes change? Like from the food we eat? Atleast it alters our DNA but I guess the body just adapts. They weren't born with big spleens is what I'm sayinh… or the human body would be a very very boring thing if you couldn't change capabilities after birth. Humans aren't meant for space. Says so In the holy books and seeing how most scientific studies have already been proven in the holy books such as the Quran? I'd believe it. So leave the atmosphere at your own risk

  7. we wont evolve anymore, this is a bunch of gibberish just surrounding the fact that some people with bigger spleens have more oxygen capability. Doesn't mean "some people" have evolved to it.

  8. I imagine adaptation and evolution from space, would be based on where you were.
    People born on the moon would likely be far larger, as to support movement.

  9. The Bajaus and The Sherpas, two kind of peoples who might evolved by the environment. thats how natural selection works

  10. Now we know, how Polynesians were able to sail and discover islands thousands of miles away in the Pacific, yet survived.

    Orang laut and the ancestor of Polynesians must be related.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *