Men in some regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina have an average height of about six feet, a towering stature that researchers say could have been passed down from mammoth-hunting ancestors, the International Business Times reports.
Researchers from the Czech Republic led by Masaryk University’s Nikola Stračárová measured the height of 3,192 boys and young men living in 37 towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As they report in Royal Society Open Science, the average height there was is 181.2 centimeters. They note that there were some regional variations, with young men in Trebinje reaching an average 184.5 cm in height. This, the researchers say, places men from regions of Herzegovina as among the tallest in the world, alongside Dutch, Montenegrin, and Dalmatian men.
Because of nutrition and socioeconomic factors, Stračárová and colleagues suspect that the Herzegovinian men might not have reached their full height potential and that their current height is largely driven by genetic factors. They hypothesize that their height is due to the spread of the Y haplogroup I-M170. This haplogroup is thought to be a legacy of the 20,000-year-old Gravettian culture in the region that hunted large game and was known to be quite tall.