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Expressive Eyebrows May Have Given Modern Humans an Evolutionary Edge

A recent study by the researchers at the University of New York has revealed that early humans possessed eminent brow ridges. These were considered as a mark of dominance. With evolution, the human face has become smaller and flatter. It now acts as a canvas on which a variety of emotions can be potrayed with the help of eyebrows. It is believed that smaller and flatter human face causes the muscles in the face to move the eyebrows up and down, as a result making expression of all kinds of subtle feelings possible.

Also, humans are now capable of communicating from a distance in more complicated ways than before. Over the years, scientists have been involved in understanding this evolution. Some suggested that the prominent brow ridges acted as a means to fill the gap between the protruding face and the braincase. Another speculation was that the prominent brows acted as structural reinforcement in order to ensure that the face could bear the stress of powerful chewing. The scientists involved in performing a series of experiments on the virtual skull. They investigated that how much brow bone was needed in order to fill the gap between the face and the braincase. They also looked at how the stress of chewing spread over the face with and without the brow ridge. Only little could be extracted from such experiments. The actual reason of this evolution is still unknown. Keeping the importance of human communication in mind, it is still unclear why other primates donot indulge in making use of eyebrows during communication.

By: Anuja Arora


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