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Eyebrows give us an evolutionary advantage


Posted on Wednesday, 11 April, 2018 | Comment icon 12 comments

Our ancestors had more prominent browridges. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Cicero Moraes
Anthropologists have been investigating the origins, evolution and purpose of the humble eyebrow.
The reason why our ancestors had such prominent browridges relative to those of modern humans has long remained a topic of debate among scientists. Why did these early hominids possess such a distinctive brow and why are our own browridges not similarly prominent ?

In a recent study, scientists ruled out several possible explanations including the idea that the more prominent brows helped to reinforce the skull or that they aided in the mechanics of jaw movement.

Instead, it is more likely that they would have played a role in establishing dominance or aggression, something that was a lot more important in the primitive societies of the time.

"We propose that conversion of the large browridges of our immediate ancestors to a more vertical frontal bone in modern humans allowed highly mobile eyebrows to display subtle affiliative emotions," the researchers wrote.

In other words, as the ability to communicate effectively became increasingly important, our brows became smaller to enable us to display more precise and subtle emotions.

Over thousands of years, this would have proven highly advantageous as it would have helped our ancestors communicate feelings and intent more accurately, leading to better co-operation.

Source: BGR.com | Comments (12)

Tags: Eyebrows

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by hetrodoxly on 10 April, 2018, 7:50
Comment icon #4 Posted by Wickian on 10 April, 2018, 12:35
Does that mean people with uni-brows are technically handicapped?
Comment icon #5 Posted by jaylemurph on 10 April, 2018, 22:37
I always knew that Mona Lisa chick was a retrograde. --Jaylemurph
Comment icon #6 Posted by Piney on 11 April, 2018, 10:02
Did you ever think the Renaissance fad of shaving the eyebrows off was not just a "beauty" thing but so people would have a harder timereading your expressions. Like the Bene Gesserit in Dino De Laurentiis's trainwreck version of Dune?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Ozfactor on 11 April, 2018, 20:13
Botox can freeze eyebrows into one position , usually a shocked position and sometimes it raises only one eyebrow higher than the other creating a quizzical look . They cant move their eyebrows and it gives them limited expression
Comment icon #8 Posted by Stiff on 11 April, 2018, 21:17
This springs to mind...
Comment icon #9 Posted by hetrodoxly on 11 April, 2018, 21:42
Who'd have thought
Comment icon #10 Posted by Hankenhunter on 12 April, 2018, 3:35
Sharpies don't count. Hank
Comment icon #11 Posted by AustinHinton on 12 April, 2018, 12:23
Why do you forced this little slice of h#ll onto us?
Comment icon #12 Posted by UFOwatcher on 12 April, 2018, 14:52
I always thought the brow (ridge) helped protect the eyes against bumping and also helped keep water from running down the forehead into the eyes obscuring vision.


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