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Could humans eventually grow beaks ?


Posted on Friday, 5 July, 2013 | Comment icon 49 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: MarioM

 
A biologist at Sheffield University has suggested that human teeth may end up being replaced by a beak.

Dr Gareth Fraser believes that we may evolve such an appendage within the next few million years as it would represent an upgrade to teeth for biting and chewing. Whereas teeth have a tendency to break, rot, chip and fall out, a beak would be a lot more robust. Dr Fraser's prediction came as part of research in to why humans only grow two sets of teeth while other animals, such as sharks, grow many more.

"It could be possible for humans to evolve to grow beaks, like pufferfish, which may be more robust and practical," he said. Until that happens however, Dr Fraser is focusing his efforts on finding ways to help stimulate regular tooth regrowth to help replace missing teeth in patients.

"It might sound more like science fiction than a serious prediction, but a biologist has suggested that humans could one day evolve to grow beaks."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (49)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #40 Posted by Rafterman on 6 July, 2013, 13:56
I think the evolutionary need for speech will far outweigh the need to transition to a beak. As does the evolutionary need for BJs.
Comment icon #41 Posted by Hawkin on 6 July, 2013, 21:59
Why is it so hard to believe a God given document about man & God's creation etc when you believe history books about the history,leaders etc & the downfall of many civilizations,hundreds of years after,written by men of questionable character? There is a minority that thinks that historical events never happened. Even as recent as the Apollo Moon Landings.
Comment icon #42 Posted by ashven on 7 July, 2013, 9:14
Very positive of him to believe we'll be here in a few million years
Comment icon #43 Posted by Ogbin on 11 July, 2013, 17:44
Ridiculous
Comment icon #44 Posted by Zaphod222 on 11 July, 2013, 18:15
Why is it so hard to believe a God given document about man & God's creation etc when you believe history books about the history,leaders etc & the downfall of many civilizations,hundreds of years after,written by men of questionable character? LOL, keep it up. You are one of the funnier trolls around here.
Comment icon #45 Posted by Zaphod222 on 11 July, 2013, 18:18
I also would personally like to know why we haven't evolved to grow a third row of teeth.Obviously we have the lifespan that outgrows the second teeth. That is not "obvious" at all, that is only the result of modern technology and medicine, which is only a couple of decades old. Between the needs of gathering food, outrunning predators, and dying of disease, our ancesters hardly ever outlived their teeth. Got another question of that calibre, or are you just practising your trolling skills?
Comment icon #46 Posted by Zaphod222 on 8 August, 2013, 5:47
Just to underline what I said before: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/07/smart-women-not-having-kids? Our evolutionary future is not one with beaks or other miraculous encoutrements, it is a very dumb one.
Comment icon #47 Posted by Jacques Terreur on 8 August, 2013, 7:38
Just to underline what I said before: http://www.theguardi...ot-having-kids? Our evolutionary future is not one with beaks or other miraculous encoutrements, it is a very dumb one. i always knew that "idiocracy" is not a comedy, but an accurate outlook into humanity's future.....
Comment icon #48 Posted by Chooky88 on 8 August, 2013, 7:54
Can't happen. Firstly we are a higher species than birds. That means going backwards. Most importantly technology exists to replace teeth. My dad survived throat cancer but the chemotherapy made his teeth chalk. No problem, rip out all the old teeth and replace the lot. Yes this will take money but technology will make it easier and cheaper long before this bizarre theory coin d happen. Besides, I need lips to talk, kiss etc.
Comment icon #49 Posted by Frank Merton on 8 August, 2013, 13:59
What I can't figure is why in the world we would want to have beaks. Secondly, what natural selection pressures would possibly lead in that direction. If there are answers to these, it would nevertheless take much longer than a million years for such a thing to happen. We were homo erectus for the most part a million years ago, not much different from now. Evolution of things like beaks takes much longer periods of time.


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