New York Times: “If people first became nudists 3.3 million years ago, when did they start to wear clothes? Surprisingly, lice once again furnish the answer. Though humans may long have worn loose garments like animal skin cloaks, the first tailored clothing would have been close-fitting enough to tempt the head louse to expand its territory. It evolved a new variety, the body louse, with claws adapted for clinging to fabric, not hairs. In 2003, Mark Stoneking, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, estimated from DNA differences that the body louse evolved from the head louse about 107,000 years ago. The first sewn clothes were presumably made shortly before this time.”
© 2007, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.