by Brooks Hays
Salt Lake City (UPI) Jun 9, 2013
Early humans had a lot of beef. As in they fought a lot -- not cattle (yet). And all that hand-to-hand combat, scientists from the University of Utah say, helped early humans evolve a face suited to withstanding blows.
The researchers noticed that australopithecus -- the genus of bi-pedal hominids who directly preceded the human genus homo some 5 million years ago -- had facial features conducive to absorbing punches to the face.
Scientists had originally assumed that the robust cheeks, jaws, eye and nose features evolutionary adaptation to their hardy diet. But in their new study, the Utah scientists suggest the diet of the the australopiths was rather soft and full of fruit.
"When modern humans fight hand to hand, the face is usually the primary target," Dr. David Carrier said.
Therefore, Carrier and his colleagues concluded -- in their study, published recently in the journal Biological Reviews -- early humans evolved to protect their faces when violence was prevalent.
Modern humans have sleeker, less buttressed facial features, as the threat of violence has waned.
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|