Sunday, February 08, 2009

Article: Early Humans had Nutcracker Jaws

Saw this article online on the Live Science website, here's the teaser quote:

Our ancient human relatives had jaws like nutcrackers that allowed the hominids to chomp down on hard nuts and seeds and adapt to changes in food sources in their environment, a new computer simulation reveals.

Today's humans have comparatively small faces and teeth, making us ill-equipped to bite down forcefully on hard objects. Apparently that wasn't the case for Australopithecus africanus, which lived 3.3 million to 2.5 million years ago.

An international team of researchers used computed tomography scanning to digitally recreate an A. africanus skull to see how the jaw operated and what forces it could produce. Then, they added measurements of how the facial muscles work in chimpanzees, which share common features with Australopithecus.

Read the rest of the article here: Early Humans had Nutcracker Jaws

Source: Live Science Website , Read Feb 8/09.

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD
Promenade Court Dental Health Group in Mississauga
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(1/2 km north of the QEW in the Dome Building)
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