Monday, June 9, 2014
The faces of modern men would be different if our ancestors hadn't spent countless thousands of years slugging it out with their newly evolved fists, scientists say
Researchers studying australopiths, human predecessors who lived 4 million to 5 million years ago, found that male faces evolved to become stronger in areas most likely to be hit during a fist fight, including the jaw and structures in the eye, nose, and cheek areas. The researchers earlier determined that australopiths were the first primates able to form their hands into fists — thereby becoming able to throw a punch. The facial bones that grew stronger among the australopith males are still very different between men and women today. "In humans and in great apes in general ... it's males that are most likely to get into fights, and it's also males that are most likely to get injured," the lead researcher said, noting that a broken jaw millions of years ago would probably have led to death by starvation.