Health Day - ONLINE EDITION

Men's Bigger Builds Need Bigger Noses

Study found male noses were 10 percent larger, on average, to bring oxygen to greater muscle mass

  • Print

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Beak, snout, schnozz: However you refer to them, men's noses are typically bigger than women's. Now, new research may help explain why.

Men's noses are an average of 10 percent bigger than women's noses due to differences in their physical builds and energy demands, researchers report.

The investigators tracked the nose size and growth of 38 people of European descent from the age of 3 until they were in their mid-20s. In general, boys and girls had the same nose size from birth until puberty began. After that, males had bigger noses than females.

Males tend to have more lean muscle mass, which requires more oxygen for muscle tissue growth and maintenance. Having a large nose means that more oxygen can be inhaled and transported in the blood to nourish the muscle, according to the University of Iowa researchers.

"This relationship has been discussed in the literature, but this is the first study to examine how the size of the nose relates to body size in males and females in a longitudinal study [where a group of people is followed over a long period of time]," study author Nathan Holton, an assistant professor in the College of Dentistry, said in a university news release.

The findings, published recently in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, likely apply to most racial/ethnic groups, the researchers added.

The study also helps explain why modern humans have smaller noses than their ancestors did. Ancient humans had more muscle mass and required large noses to bring oxygen to that extra muscle tissue, Holton explained. He also noted that the rib cages and lungs of modern humans are smaller, which reinforces the idea that modern humans don't require as much oxygen as ancient humans did.

More information

The American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery has more about your nose.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Can Steeves or Bowman catch Wasylycia-Leis?

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should panhandling at intersections be banned?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google