Your Face Is so Punchable Thanks to Evolution
Look at you. So smug. So douchey. God, I just want to hit you in the fucking face right now.
I don’t mean you, exactly. More the literal you. Other people.
Because we’ve all been there. Seen some dude Bro who needs a closed fist straight to his dome. To let him know he’s the kind of person people want to punch in the face.
Even if you do rock that dude, he’ll be alright. That’s because science thinks male faces evolved over time to take a punch.
The bones most commonly broken in human punch-ups also gained the most strength in early “hominin” evolution. They are also the bones that show most divergence between males and females.
Until recently, it was thought that the evolution in facial structure was tied to humans consuming tougher food, such as nuts and seeds.
But new research casts doubt on that belief, and a new paper by David Carrier, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Utah, claims our facial features firmed up because early man was repeatedly slugging other early man in the face.
Instead of diet, Prof Carrier and his co-author, physician Dr Michael Morgan, propose that violent competition demanded the development of these facial fortifications: what they call the “protective buttressing hypothesis”.
“Jaws are one of the most frequent bones to break – and it’s not the end of the world now, because we have surgeons, we have modern medicine,” Prof Carrier explained. “But four million years ago, if you broke your jaw, it was probably a fatal injury. You wouldn’t be able to chew food… You’d just starve to death.”
So, Australopithecus (predecessors to modern humans by about 3.5 million years), developed hearty bone structure around their eyes, jaws, cheeks and nose.
Now, it just serves the purpose of making you look like you need to be knocked down.
Because you do.
[Smug Bro via Shutterstock]