More babies are born without wisdom teeth as new research shows the human race is passing through a ‘microevolution’.
According to a new study in the Journal of Anatomy, the human race is evolving at a rate faster than it has done at any interval in the last 250 years.
It reveals that babies have shorter faces – leading to smaller mouths and less room for teeth to grow.
According to The Telegraph, researcher Dr Teghan Lucas, from Flinders University, Australia, said our increased ability to chew our food is a key factor.
‘As our faces are getting a lot shorter there is not as much room for teeth because of smaller jaws,’ she said.
‘This is happening in time as we have learnt to use fire and process foods more. A lot of people are just being born without wisdom teeth.’
Change in evolutionary process
Alongside this, the study also shows that babies are being born with extra bones in their feet and legs – as well as an extra artery in their arm.
The research shows a spike in the prevalence of the median artery in the forearm – which supplies blood to the hand – since the 19th century. Previously, it would form in the womb and disappear after the growth of the radial and ulna arteries.
But now, around one in three people keep the artery for the duration of their life. According to the study, only around 10% of people born in the mid 1880s had it.
‘Humans are currently in a relaxed state of natural selection. Our environment is considerably favourable to us,’ said Dr Lucas.
‘We have advanced as a species to the point where natural selection no longer removes the outliers in the gene pool.
‘An example of this is infertile individuals. Natural selection would dictate that they do not have the opportunity to pass on their genes. However, due to modern medicine they can now reproduce.’
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