Equatorial (Negro-Australoid) Race
the collective name of the Negroid and Australoid races in the tropical zone of Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Australia. Representatives of the Equatorial race are characterized by curly or wavy hair, dark skin, hair, and eyes, prognathism, a wide nose, and thick lips. Some anthropologists consider the Negroid and Australoid races to be genetically related and combine them into one large race, while others regard them as having developed convergently in the process of adaptation to the ecological conditions of a hot climate. Dark coloration of the skin could possibly provide protection from the harmful effects of intense sunlight, as could curly hair, which forms a natural protective “cap” on the head. Thick lips and wide nostrils may have had adaptive significance for high evaporation of moisture through the mucosa.