Withstanding a Fist to the Face is All Part of Evolution
the MPR take:
In a study published in the journal Biological Reviews, researchers point to the conclusion that parts of the human skull had evolved in such a way as to protect a person from interpersonal violence since the face tends to be a primary target during hand-to-hand combat. This research also may explain why male and female faces evolved differently, with the jaw adductor muscles in males being 34% stronger than in females as well as the sexual dimorphism of neck muscles in modern humans. Previous research had suggested the changes in facial structure were related to changes in diet; however, the protective buttressing hypothesis provides a different explanation for the strong facial features, an adaptation to surviving a fist fight.
Researchers at the University of Utah observed that the fossils of australopiths—bi-peds that lived 4-5 million years ago and directly preceded the human genus Homo—had robust cheek, jaw, eye and nose features. David Carrier, the lead researcher in the study, told the Guardian that the australopiths' hands had adapted to form a fist, allowing them to engage in hand-to-hand combat.
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