Jablonski profile

Claudia Dreifus profiles biological anthropologist Nina Jablonski in today's NY Times. She has a new book out, Skin, A Natural History.

Modern humans, we love to alter our skin. You'll find very few people walking around today with unadorned skin. They might make permanent changes -- piercing, scarring, tattooing -- to memorialize events and announce their identity. Or they might use cosmetics for temporary alterations to announce their attractiveness, mood or sexual availability. The bottom line: humans are the self-decorating ape.

The interview includes questions about skin color, cosmetics, and the first fossil chimpanzee.