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Humans everywhere distinguish their own kind from others in terms of varying combinations of such traits as culture, language, location, and physical appearance (the latter often resulting from cultural- or ecological- rather than genetic difference). There is substantial evidence that the human mind has adapted to readily perceive ethnic difference and process information on inter-ethnic interactions in distinctive fashions.
While ethnicity is founded in large part in coalitional behavior and thinking, which are found in many species, including nonhuman primates, the cultural and linguistic markers of ethnicity are either distinctively human or removed to a large degree quantitatively from any counterparts among other species.
Archaeological remains suggest a considerable antiquity for ethnicity but the timing of its evolution is little known.
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