We did not evolve small teeth because of brain development or primitive food-cutting tools

A 3D reconstruction of a modern human cranium showing the teeth and endocranial cast. Credit: George Washington University

The human brain and teeth have not evolved together in humans, unlike what past studies had suggested.

Compared with other hominids, one of modern humans’ most distinctive feature is that they have large brains and small posterior teeth…Indeed, scientists believed that a bigger brain was linked to more complex behavior, such as the creation of stone tools to cut food, which reduced the need for big teeth and allowed for dental reduction.

However, this theory has recently been challenged by studies showing that tool use predated big brains. Australopithecus might already have used primitive stone tools some 3.3 million years ago.

A multitude of unrelated behavioral and ecological factors might have influenced the evolution of the teeth and the brain in the different hominid lineages.

“As for dental evolution, the rate is so constant it will be hard to pinpoint a single factor. We think it might be a gradual phenomenon that is related to the progressive gracilization of the human face”, concluded [Aida Gómez-Robles, from George Washington University].

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Myth buster: Our big brains and small teeth did not evolve at the same time

  • present10s

    Or maybe humans were hybridized by space aliens who used their DNA and DNA from creatures they found on Earth.

    • Chris Lachapelle

      Or maybe a magical ray of cosmic energy struck the earth and changed early humans into what we see today.

      I mean, since we are just tossing out maybes here with no scientific data what-so-ever.

      • present10s

        All theories started out as a wild idea that some guy got initially ridiculed for. If we stop thinking about new ideas we may as well give up.

        • Chris Lachapelle

          There are wild ideas within the realm of reason and possibility and then there are some that are so unlikely and preposterous that they need to be dismissed with out some very compelling evidence to the contrary.
          Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.