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14.4: Review Questions
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- Detail at least two examples of how natural selection has influenced human variation. Specifically, what was the selective pressure that may have led to a preference for a specific trait and how is that trait related to an increased level of fitness?
- Why is reduced pigmentation of the skin advantageous for individuals from northern latitudes? What role does darker skin pigmentation serve for individuals near the equator? What is the relationship between skin pigmentation and fitness?
- What are some of the risks associated with pregnancy at high altitude? Compare and contrast the various genetic mutations of the indigenous Tibetan and Ethiopian high-altitude populations. In your answer, specifically address the issue of pregnancy at high altitudes.
- What is the relationship between the sickle cell mutation and the Plasmodium parasite? Would having the HbSA genotype still be advantageous in a region where such parasites are not common? Why or why not?