Why are African Pygmies short?

No, this is not the beginning of a bad joke.

The pygmy tribe in Africa consist of some of the shortest (4’8" - 5’10") members. Are they short due to a chromosonal defect ( ie: Dwarfism, per se) or due to their enviroment ( which since I don’t know what exact part of Africa this tribe calls home),I’m envisioning lots of brush and low hanging trees that after hundreds of years the locals, tired of stooping to get through the mess, just ( for lack of a better word) mutate themselves shorter.)

Thoughts like this keep me awake at nights.

The early bird gets the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese.

Their genes don’t tell their bodies to produce as much growth hormone as their taller neighbors.

Just speculating, mind you. I live in South Florida. In the Florida Keys we have Key Deer, a tiny species of dog size deer. Also the Florida Panther is smaller than its’ Western counterpart. Dense undergrowth is the standard answer for these size differences.

For an interesting basic article on pygmies, go to the following: http://www.optonline.com/plweb-cgi/fastweb?getdoc+view1+all002+4325+1++pygmies
Parsing what is said there: There are pygmies in the rain forests of Africa, but also in the Kalahari desert. No one is quite sure why they are so short.

Postulation: Kalahari pygmies are rain-forest pygmies that re-located. Get some linguistics specialists to check it out. :slight_smile:

I think the answer can be found in “The God’s must be crazy.” When the bushman finds the white woman, he comments about how big she is saying something like: “I would have to dig roots for a week to get enough water for her!”

I would guess that pygmies come from areas that are resource poor, so they have small, efficient bodies to use as few resources as possible.

Interesting sight, DSYoungesq. The description of their short bodies and larger sized heads has now filled me with the vision that they are like Ompah-lumpah people :slight_smile: