Other Species Affect Our Biogeography

Alexander H. Harcourt

in Human Biogeography

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780520272118
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951778 | DOI:
Other Species Affect Our Biogeography

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Parasites and diseases vary regionally, and therefore so does human physiology. For example, people who live in malarial areas have a different hemoglobin than do people who live outside malarial regions. Some diseases have probably slowed conquerors, because they were not adapted to the diseases of the invaded regions. Yellow fever, for example, prevented the French from building the Panama Canal, and therefore from invading Panama. On the other hand, the invaders brought new diseases into the conquered regions to which the residents were not resistant. These diseases, as much as superior firepower, aided the conquests.

Keywords: conquest; disease; imperialism; malaria; sleeping sickness; tsetse fly; yellow fever

Chapter.  3175 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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