Why our noses are different shapes
Left: The nasal bone structure of a person of African origin. Right: Nose of a person of European origin.
March 20th, 2013
12:06 PM ET

Why our noses are different shapes

There are pouches on each side of the human nose below the eyes that are called maxillary sinuses. They're involved in sinus infections, so you may already have a bias against them.

But Nathan Holton, a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of orthodontics at the University of Iowa, wanted to find out why there's such variation in these structures, and how they are affected by variation in the nasal cavity. A study on the subject is published in the journal The Anatomical Record.

Holton and colleagues took computed tomography scans of 40 people. About half of them were European-Americans, and the other half were African-Americans or native South Africans.

They found that the bigger the volume of the nasal cavity, the bigger the maxillary sinuses, in both populations. This is also associated with the overall face size, the researchers said, and suggests that the maxillary sinuses play a role in allowing the nose shape to vary. It appears that the sinuses make room for the nose.

But when the face size is about the same, maxillary sinuses tended to be 36% larger in people of European ancestry than of African ancestry because Europeans tend to have narrower nose shapes.

The various shapes of noses appear to be tied to adaptations to climate, Holton said. The nose must properly heat and humidify the air that you breathe. In a cold climate, it's advantageous to have a narrower nose. That's so that when a person inhales, more air comes into contact with the mucosal surface of nose, which provides moisture. The narrow nose maximizes the surface area.

"The fact that we have sinuses seems to allow for this accommodation of variation in nasal shape, which seems to be important, in evolutionary terms, with regard to climatic adaptation," Holton said.

The maxillary sinuses probably do not serve an important purpose in terms of nasal respiratory function, he said.

soundoff (1,756 Responses)
  1. dating training

    Hello! I could have sworn Iíve visited your blog before but after going through many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím certainly happy I found it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!


    June 22, 2021 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mercedes Sprinter Brake Caliper Repair Kit


    June 22, 2021 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. curacao vs ấn độ

    Thẳng đá Bóng Việt Nam Vs Lebanon. Coi Truc Tiep Bong Da. Futsal Việt Namtruc tiep bong da k+pcĐây có lẽ rằng là trường hợp “của đi thay cho nhân viên" khá may mắn đối cùng với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã được thể bắt gặp hiểm họa nghiêm trọng. Cập nhật kết quả trận Việt Nam vs Lebanon nằm trong play-off vòng chủng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.


    June 22, 2021 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Plumbing Repair Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Rv Frame Repair Shop Near Me

    I could not resist commenting. Very well written!


    June 22, 2021 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Glass Repair Near Me

    I like it whenever people come together and share opinions. Great blog, continue the good work!


    June 22, 2021 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. free sex story

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and all. However think about if you added some
    great images or video clips to give your posts more,
    "pop"! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this site could definitely be one of the best in its niche.
    Excellent blog!

    June 22, 2021 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. curacao vs ấn độ

    Trực Tiếp Bóng Đá Hôm Nay, Links Coi Soccer Trực Tuyến 24hvaoroiTheo thể thức thi đấu, đội thắng ở cặp đấu này sẽ giành tấm vé đến Lithuania trong ngày hội bóng đá lớn nhất thế giới mang đến futsal. Tuyển futsal Việt Nam bước vào trận play-off lượt đi tranh vé dự play-off World Cup 2021 với sự tự tin. Tuy vậy, HLV Phạm Minh Giang bày tỏ, toàn đội ko ngán Lebanon song sẽ tìm cách để khắc chế sức mạnh của đối thủ bởi trên băng ghế huấn luyện là nhà cầm quân Ramiro Lopez, người từng dẫn dắt futsal Tây Ban Nha.|Dựa vào lịch thi đấu, quý khách có thể chuẩn bị xếp việc làm


    June 22, 2021 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Internet Marketing Firms

    I absolutely love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my own website and would love to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called. Appreciate it!


    June 22, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Window Repair Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Brake Repair Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Internet Marketing Service Near Me

    Good article. I will be experiencing many of these issues as well..


    June 22, 2021 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. nhà cái

    Trực Tiếp Soccer Thời Điểm Hôm Nay, Links Xem Bóng Đá Trực Tuyến 24h trang cá cược uy tínĐội tuyển chọn futsal nước ta đã có được một trận đấu chấp nhận được trước đối thủ cạnh tranh đầy sức mạnh Lebanon. Kết trái Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước ngày hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước ta.


    June 22, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Tire Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Local Marketing Companies


    June 23, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Social Media Marketing Services Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 03:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. erotic podcast


    June 23, 2021 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Service Repair Near Me

    Can I just say what a comfort to uncover somebody who actually understands what they're talking about on the net. You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people must check this out and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you aren't more popular because you surely have the gift.


    June 23, 2021 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. cai bong beat

    Xem Thông Tin Thể Thao Bóng Đá 24h Vào Năm 2019hướng dẫn chơi casino trực tuyếnLiverpool là ĐộI bóng nhận ít thẻ nhất ở Premier League mùa này và đang đứng trước cơ hội đạt giải thưởng Fair Play ở mùa giải thứ 5 liên tiếp. Sau khi thăng hạng 96 trái đất, nhóm tuyển nước Việt Nam đã lọt nhóm phân tử giống như số 2 vòng loại World Cup 2022 khu vực châu Á.


    June 23, 2021 at 05:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Fiberglass Repair Near Me

    Hello! I could have sworn Iíve visited your blog before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím definitely delighted I found it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!


    June 23, 2021 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Internet Marketing Service


    June 23, 2021 at 07:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Social Media Marketing Services


    June 23, 2021 at 07:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Video Marketing Companies


    June 23, 2021 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Local Marketing Consultants

    This is a topic that's near to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?


    June 23, 2021 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. wine and weed podcast


    June 23, 2021 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Store Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Plumbing Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. bubble tea near me


    June 23, 2021 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. corona resort & casino phú quốc

    Thể Thaobaccarat table designLiverpool là đội bóng nhận ít thẻ nhất ở Premier League mùa này và đang đứng trước thời cơ đạt giải thưởng Fair Play ở mùa giải thứ 5 tiếp tục. Sau lúc thăng hạng 96 toàn cầu, nhóm tuyển chọn nước Việt Nam đã lọt group hạt tương đương số 2 vòng loại World Cup 2022 khu vực vực châu Á.


    June 23, 2021 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair Near My Location

    Hello there! This post couldnít be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I am going to forward this post to him. Pretty sure he'll have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    June 23, 2021 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Local Marketing Experts

    Hi there, There's no doubt that your site could possibly be having browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, great website!


    June 23, 2021 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. hardware store near me


    June 23, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Content Marketing Experts

    After going over a handful of the blog posts on your site, I honestly appreciate your way of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website as well and let me know what you think.


    June 23, 2021 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. bank near me

    I was very happy to find this site. I wanted to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and I have you saved as a favorite to see new things on your website.


    June 23, 2021 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Google Marketing Services

    After looking into a few of the blog posts on your web page, I truly appreciate your way of blogging. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website too and tell me your opinion.


    June 23, 2021 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Internet Marketing Agency

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me breakfast because I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this matter here on your blog.


    June 23, 2021 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Porugal Golden Visa

    Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a
    blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

    June 23, 2021 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Social Media Marketing Specialist

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    June 23, 2021 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Exhaust Repair Near Me

    Excellent article. I absolutely appreciate this site. Thanks!


    June 24, 2021 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. pawn shops near me


    June 24, 2021 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. slot casino

    Thể Thao138 casinoLiverpool là ĐộI bóng nhận ít thẻ nhất ở Premier League mùa này và đang đứng trước thời cơ đạt giải thưởng Fair Play ở mùa giải loại 5 tiếp tục. Sau lúc thăng hạng 96 toàn cầu, đội tuyển chọn Việt Nam đã lọt nhóm phân tử giống như số 2 vòng loại World Cup 2022 khu vực châu Á.


    June 24, 2021 at 01:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV And Truck Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 01:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Camper Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 04:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Content Marketing Companies

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the website is really good.


    June 24, 2021 at 05:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Fiberglass Repair Near Me

    Hello! I simply want to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you've got right here on this post. I'll be returning to your site for more soon.


    June 24, 2021 at 05:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. houses for rent near me


    June 24, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 24 Hour RV Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 07:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. mattress store near me


    June 24, 2021 at 07:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Near My Location

    Hi there! This article could not be written much better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    June 24, 2021 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Google Marketing Services


    June 24, 2021 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Leave a Reply to food near me open


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.