Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Epicanthic Fold

Fold of skin at the inner corner of the eye, near the base of the nose, that curves down and towards the midline, covering the lacrimal caruncle; found in some populations of humans including peoples of the Far East, the Khoisan Kung of Africa, Native Americans, and Polynesians. Variation within any population may be obscured by the development of the nose. Common speculation about the fold regards it as an adaptation against glare off bright surfaces such as snow or sand; others have maintained that it is a fetal character state maintained into adulthood in these populations. Aka Mongoloid fold.

See inner epicanthus and outer epicanthus.

Cf. eye folds.

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