I don't normally dwell on the actual chemistry of genetics. It's sufficient for me to know that Melanin is important because it blocks UV radiation. It would seem that pigmentation has become a bit more about presentation than function among the Caucasian tribes but that's a whole new can of worms.<quoted text>
Stuff like this however--IS actually "interesting"!!
The two genes SLC24A5 and SLC45A2 were recently identified as major determinants of pigmentation in humans and in other vertebrates. The allele p.A111T in the former gene and the allele p.L374F in the latter gene are both nearly fixed in light-skinned Europeans, and can therefore be considered ancestry informative marker (AIMs).
(oops-- forgot the site cite!!)
Curiously, I suspect that appearance and personality are linked in the European tribes. It would seem that there's a genetic advantage to visually announcing yourself before any further dialog when in Europe. One can only wonder!