Lifespan: up to 20 years in captivity, 5-10 years in the wild. Special Adaptations: Males have an elaborate courtship dance where they throw back their heads, almost touching their tail!
REDHEADS are significantly less likely to age badly.
According to their findings, those who carry a variation of the MC1R gene responsible for red hair, look around two years younger than they actually are.
The MC1R gene might actually make redheads look young
According to research published in Current Biology, people with the MC1R gene, aka the gene that produces red hair and fair skin, tend to look several years younger than their non-ginger counterparts.
The results showed the average IQ of blonde-haired women was 103.2, 102.7 for brown hair, 101.2 for red hair and 100.5 for black hair. However, the differences were so small as to be unlikely to represent a real difference.
It has long been known that redheads are at higher risk of sunburn and skin cancer. This is to be expected because red hair is associated with fair skin, which is more vulnerable to UV radiation .
Less than 2 percent of the world's population has red hair, making it the rarest hair color in the world. It's the result of the mutated MC1R gene. If both parents carry that gene, their child has a 25% chance of getting lovely, red locks, even if the parents don't have red hair themselves.
Researchers think that the ginger gene, known as MC1R, may cause the temperature-detecting gene to become over-activated, making redheads more sensitive to the cold.
A new survey reported by the Daily Mail says ladies should start worrying in their 30s: specifically, ages 30, 32, and 35 (for redheads, brunettes, and blonds, respectively).
Redheads probably won't go grey. That's because the pigment just fades over time. So they will probably go blonde and even white, but not grey.
The DNA for blonde hair and red hair are about equally strong. People who have DNA for both often have strawberry blonde hair.
Previous studies had shown that redheads inherit two versions of the MC1R gene that leads to red hair – one from their mum and one from their dad. Although almost everyone with red hair has two copies of the red-haired version of MC1R, not everyone carrying two red-haired versions is a redhead.
Look Older Than They Are
That wasn't because redheads had more wrinkles, which you might guess since they're more prone to sun damage. The researcher showed the MC1R gene variant correlated to thinning lips, sagging skin along the jawline, and other visible signs of aging.
The skin of a redhead is thinner compared to others and is derived from the ectoderm. Teeth enamel is also derived from the ectoderm and thus is thinner than usual. Since the enamel coating is thin, the inner layer of tooth-dentin is more visible and offers a yellowish appearance.
Reds have fewer and thicker strands than blondes and brunettes. On average, redheads have about 90,000 strands, blondes 110,000, and brunettes 140,000. Because each fiery strand is significantly thicker and coarser than its color counterparts, it makes hair look fuller and easier to style.
Why do people sometimes appear to be younger than others of the same age? The culprit turns out to be an innocent-sounding gene, MC1R, responsible for producing, among other things, locks of fetching red hair as well as pale skin, researchers have discovered.
Recessive traits like red hair can skip generations because they can hide out in a carrier behind a dominant trait. The recessive trait needs another carrier and a bit of luck to be seen. This means that it can sometimes take a few generations to finally make its presence known.
Redheads are said to have less melanin, meaning we absorb more sunlight and therefore need less for the body to produce its required amount of usable vitamin D.
Ireland has the highest number of red-haired people per capita in the world with the percentage of those with red hair at around 10%. Great Britain also has a high percentage of people with red hair.
They may be more sensitive to certain types of pain and can require higher doses of some pain-killing medications. However, studies suggest that their general pain tolerance may be higher. People with red hair also respond more effectively to opioid pain medications, requiring lower doses.
Most (natural) redheads will have brown eyes, followed by hazel or green shades.
Research indicates that redheads have higher thresholds for pain and need less vitamin D than the rest of us thanks to the MC1R gene mutation, which gives their hair its hue.
Put simply, 'achromotrichia' is defined as the absence or loss of pigmentation in the hair. Thanks to genetics, gingers tend to retain their red hair colour for a lot longer, skipping out the greying stage that most other people experience.
And the statistics bear that stereotype out. Ireland has the highest per capita percentage of redheads in the world -- anywhere from 10 to 30 percent, according to Eupedia, a website that explores European genetics and ancestry.
To sum all that science up, red heads have a faulty MC1R receptor which doesn't switch on in response to the sun's UV rays. This means the yellow-red pheomelanin in their melanocytes cannot be converted into the brown-black eumelanin which creates a sun tan.