10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

60As scientists continue to explore our evolutionary history, new facts emerge that explain how the past shapes modern humans, from the size of our brain to the length of life. Even more intriguing is the role that chance played in the formation of the brain and body, which modern people have.

1. Human faces formed to withstand a blow.61

Until recently, it was widely believed that strong human faces formed about four to five million years ago to help our ancestors Australopithecus chew solid foods such as nuts. But now this opinion is destroyed by a direct blow to the face.

According to a Utah State University study, our distant past was not as peaceful as we once believed. Probably, violence played a much larger role in the development of human physiology than we suspected earlier. Researchers believe that male faces are shaped in such a way as to minimize injury from blows during fights for women, food and territory.The bones of the face became stronger, so as not to break during hand-to-hand combat. These bones represent the difference between a male and a female skull. Obviously, it was necessary for male faces to evolve in this way, because the bones breaking in battles are larger for men.

If this theory is correct, people were not noble savages who became aggressive because of civilization. Instead, our physical abilities developed to increase our fighting strength.

2. Human hands evolved to strike62

While human faces were formed to withstand the blow, our hands were formed to apply it. In an earlier study by the University of Utah, scientists discovered that human hands were formed in a paradoxical way. Compared to monkeys, the same features that allow us to clench our fists — short four fingers and a palm with a longer, stronger, and flexible thumb — also give us the knack for making and using delicate tools. But while chimps can make tools, they can't clench their fists.

It is also possible that our hands evolved from the same genes that gave us short toes and an extended thumb when we started walking and running in an upright position.

Scientists believe that our aggressive and cruel nature caused our bodies to turn into fighting vehicles. A man striking with a clenched fist can hit harder without hurting himself. Fists can also be used for intimidation. Ultimately, our hands — with their ability to kill and create — can divide good and evil in human nature.

3. We had herpes before we became human63

Some of our physical characteristics have not just evolved over time. Some diseases, such as herpes, have passed on to us from chimpanzees.

Approximately 67% of modern people have at least one herpes simplex virus (HSV). In fact, humans are the only primates who have two HSV, usually appearing as herpes on the lips or blisters on the genitals. Herpes of the first type affected people before they separated from chimpanzees about six million years ago. HSV of the second type was transmitted to us from chimpanzees about 1.6 million years ago. Scientists from the University of California believe that studying the origin of these viruses will help prevent people from going to other diseases.

Another group of scientists from Oxford and Plymouth universities discovered ancient Neanderthal viruses in modern human DNA. These viruses come from the HML2 family and may be associated with cancer and HIV in modern humans. This information in the future may be useful for developing therapy.

4. Man is the only primate whose teeth size decreases with increasing brain size.64

During the last 2.5 million years, two tendencies of human development have been connected - the size of the human brain has increased, and the size of teeth has decreased. We are the only primates who can boast of it.

Usually when the brain grows, the teeth grow, because the body needs more energy from food. Therefore, scientists call what happened to people, an evolutionary paradox. They believe that it was due to the fact that people began to eat more meat that feeds our brain.

Also, humans are the only primates who have developed thick tooth enamel. In primate herbivores, tooth enamel is thin; in primates and monkeys that feed on both plants and animals, enamel is of medium thickness.In humans, the enamel is even thicker, probably to crush hard products. Scientists human enamel also allows you to determine the age and diet of ancient people on human fossils.

And Neanderthals are the oldest hominids that used toothpicks to relieve pain from dental diseases, such as sore gums.

5. Our common male and female ancestors lived at about the same time.65

Researchers often use the name "Y-chromosomal Adam" for our closest common ancestor. Males usually have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, females have two X chromosomes.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Human Genetics, Adam probably lived about 209 thousand years ago.

This model is contrary to a previous study by the University of Arizona, which suggested that the Y chromosome existed before humanity appeared. Scientists from Arizona believed that the Y-chromosomes of modern men were created by crossing species more than 500 thousand years ago. But the authors of the new study claim that the Arizona study, if interpreted correctly, creates a “spatial-temporal paradox, according to which the most ancient individual, belonging to the species Homo Sapiens, has not yet been born.”

The new study also places the Y-chromosome "Adam" in the time of "Eve", the closest female common ancestor of modern humans. However, scientists say that there was not one “Adam” and one “Eve” - instead of them there were groups “Adams” and “Eva” wandering around the world.

6. Grandmothers help us live longer66

Grandmothers have made us who we are. This conclusion was made by scientists from the University of Utah, who launched a computer simulation to test the famous "grandmother's hypothesis". According to this evolutionary theory, people have a longer lifespan than monkeys, because grandmothers helped feed their grandchildren. Other primates seek their own food after weaning from the mother.

When human grandmothers began to help feed their grandchildren, mothers were given the opportunity to have more children. Modeling showed that it took 60 thousand years to evolve from women who die immediately after childbearing age to decade after menopause.

Many anthropologists believe that the increase in the size of our brain contributed to an increase in the duration of our lives. However, researchers from Utah controlled the size of the brain, the hunt and pairing in computer simulations.When they introduced the minimal effect of the presence of a grandmother, the duration of human life increased dramatically. Scientists have come to the conclusion that grandmothers contributed — or even became the cause — of such important changes in human evolution as the development of a larger brain, social dependence, and our tendency to work together.

7. Protein could contribute to the development of a larger brain.67

Researchers at the University of Colorado have another theory about why the human brain so quickly developed to such a size and complex system. These scientists have found that a protein domain, which is a specific unit of protein structure, is found in greater numbers in humans than in animals. This is the domain of the protein DUF1220, and the more of it, the more your brain. People in the genome have 270 copies, the next are chimpanzees with 125 and gorillas with 99 copies. Mice have only one copy. This means that the size of the brain can strongly depend on the amount of the protein domain.

Difficulties in finding rare insects for food, which required the development of problem-solving skills and the use of tools, also contributed to the development of a large-sized brain.But a larger brain size was not the only factor in human evolution from a primate — people also have more complex genetic activity that helps in learning.

8. Throwing made us human68

The skills of throwing modern baseball players are descended from our extinct human ancestors. Early people learned to throw stones and sharpened wooden spears during a hunt almost two million years ago. According to scientists at George Washington University and Harvard University, even chimpanzees cannot compare with people in these skills. At best, chimpanzees can only throw a third as fast as a 12-year-old Minor League pitcher.

The researchers wanted to find out why people give up so well. While watching a baseball game record, scientists realized that the human shoulder works like a slingshot, saving and releasing energy during a throw. Some features of the human torso, shoulder, and arm have been specifically developed to help us store this energy.

Throwing skills allowed our ancestors to kill and eat big game. Eating meat stimulated the development of the human body and brain to large sizes.So the unique ability of our ancestors to throwing helped us become people.

9. A person’s lifespan can be associated with extremely slow metabolism.69

People and other primates burn 50% fewer calories than other mammals. This means that in order to burn as many calories as other mammals of the same size burn in a day, a person will have to run a marathon.

According to the results of a new study, to explain why we grow so slowly, give birth to children so rarely and live so long, can our slow metabolism. He can also explain why we have so many different weight loss programs. But if you exercise, and you have problems with weight loss, the study can also tell you the reason. It was also found that primates in cells at the zoo spent as much energy as their colleagues in the wild, and this in turn means that physical activity probably affects the number of calories burned per day less than we thought.

For comparison, most mammals, such as our domestic dogs or hamsters, quickly go through all stages of life and die early — often after ten years or less.Scientists believe that environmental conditions have influenced the development of a slow metabolism, which gives us a long life.

10. The irony of fate that influenced human evolution70

Scientists from the University of Chicago are engaged in "molecular time travel" to see how human evolution could go otherwise. They started with an important protein in the human body since it existed hundreds of millions of years ago. This protein eventually became a cell receptor for the stress hormone cortisol.

Biologists wanted to know how this ancient protein became sensitive to cortisol. After studying thousands of alternative versions, they found only one answer - it came out by chance. Two extremely rare mutations had to occur so that the protein could develop sensitivity to cortisol. In other words, the modern form of protein was due to chance in our distant past.

Researchers believe that a series of unlikely random events - a twist of fate - influenced the squirrels that made us who we are. If proteins develop new functions, the diversity and genetic diversity of life can be explained.It also means that with a somewhat different set of circumstances, people could turn into something completely different.

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  • 10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity

    10 facts about the strange evolution of humanity