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Are Our Skulls Optimized for Fistfights?

By National Institutes of Health, Health & Human Services [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Are Our Skulls Optimized for Fistfights?

Millions of years of fighting and blows to the head may have helped shape our face. After studying the faces of australopiths—ancient apelike bipeds—researchers found that their skulls were strongest in areas that are more likely to be punched, The Guardian reports. Their study, published online today in Biological Reviews, suggests that certain features, such as large, muscular jaws, evolved for better protection against incoming fists. The new theory counters the hypothesis that our face evolved largely from the need to chew hard foods, such as nuts.

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