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Science & Technology

Why do humans have chins ?

By T.K. Randall
January 14, 2012 · Comment icon 32 comments



Image Credit: sxc.hu
It's a standard part of our bodies that we don't give much thought to, but just why do we have a chin ?
It isn't clear exactly what purpose the chin serves in humans. One of the more prominent theories suggests that the chin is intended as a way to protect against certain types of mechanical stress, in particular during eating. Studies have demonstrated that the chin does help to support the jaw during chewing. Other scientists have suggested that the chin has to do with sexual selection, with females preferring males with broader chins as a sign of good genes.
When you think about what makes modern humans unique, the chin is probably not the first, second or even third thing that comes to mind. Yet this bony protrusion at the end of the lower jaw is not seen in any other hominid species. So what’s a chin good for?


Source: Smithsonian Magazine | Comments (32)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #23 Posted by Fluffybunny 11 years ago
Because if we didnt have a chin our bottom lip would fall off And never be able to get a pillowcase on a pillow...
Comment icon #24 Posted by ~C.S.M~ 11 years ago
perhaps for a more efficient way of chewing? imagine if we didnt have chins at all, our chewed food would fall down. It would be a mess....
Comment icon #25 Posted by spud the mackem 11 years ago
Its to stop your tongue falling out and hitting your boots.and you cant drink with your tongue hanging out....sorted...
Comment icon #26 Posted by spud the mackem 11 years ago
I recently heard Syria's Assad referred to as a "chinless mofo" Apparently there is discrimination against the chinless.... Why are you quoting in an non understandable language on an English written programme ? Watcheor Marra,ah betcha divvent knaa geordie.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Farmerboy 11 years ago
Need I say more lol
Comment icon #28 Posted by Englishgent 11 years ago
Why are you quoting in an non understandable language on an English written programme ? Watcheor Marra,ah betcha divvent knaa geordie. Hang on while I grab a copy of 'Viz' (for translational purposes)
Comment icon #29 Posted by Habitat 11 years ago
Need something to start off a double chin.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Abramelin 11 years ago
Maybe it has to do with a different diet than for instance the chinless Neanderthals had? Modern humans maybe eat using tools to cut meat, roots and so on much more than more ancient types of humans did. The possible result would be that the roots of our teeth and molars reduced in size because less strength was needed to eat. And because the roots reduced in size, so did the bones of the (lower) jaw. What I think happened is not that the chin started growing and protruding, but that the chin stayed in it's original place while the rest of the jaw receeded making the chin stick out more.
Comment icon #31 Posted by VanillaBean 11 years ago
Never given much thought to why we have chins lol.
Comment icon #32 Posted by spud the mackem 11 years ago
Never given much thought to why we have chins lol. Well Ma'am if you didnt have a chin you wouldnt have a bottom lip,and you wouldnt look pretty so no one would kiss you.


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