Evolution Of The human face points into A non-violent pastSalon #Of_HumanApril 16, 2019 0 By NewsTakers
(Getty/filistimlyanin) Keith A. Spencer April 15, 2019 11:00PM (UTC) The human obsession with emoji , and the sheer number of them available on your phone, may have its origins in 6 million years of evolution.
A new article in Nature Ecology & Evolution, titled “ The evolutionary history of the human face ,” suggests that the great array of human facial expressions may make us more unique among species than we’d thought previously.
“Modern humans have a short, retracted face beneath a large globular braincase that is distinctively different from that of our closest living relatives,” the researchers write.
How this happened relates to both diet and social structure.
Indeed, changes in the human diet changed the way that our teeth look.
“For example, all three extant species share a distinctive protruding bony arch above the eyes,” unlike humans and early hominids, they write.
Most interestingly, the researchers note how changing social structures (i.e. agrarianism) simultaneously changed how our faces look.
“Brow ridge reduction accompanied midfacial reduction,” they write.
The large brow “has been implicated in many functions… Of particular interest is its role in the proposed threat display in Neanderthals…. a recent study suggested that a social signalling role, particularly in relation to dominance/aggression, was likely.”
“These considerations raise the possibility that the role of the face in social signalling may have been an important contributor to its later evolution, as we have suggested (see above) for the earliest stages of the hominin record as well.