Yes, Why Do Humans Have Chins?

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Health Editor’s Note: I thought primates also had chins, but as described here they do not.  I wonder why we have that extra piece of bone on our face? Any ideas out there?……Carol

A Chin-Stroking Mystery: Why Are Humans the Only Animals With Chins?

by Danny Lewis Smithsonian.com

Many scientists have stroked their chins in puzzlement over…well, the human chin. The bony nub that juts out from the bottom of the lower jaw is unique in the animal kingdom, and although researchers have proposed several theories over the years as to why, the chin remains a mystery.

The chin isn’t just the lower part of your face: It’s a specific term for that little piece of bone extending from the jaw. While it may seem odd, humans are in fact the only animals that have one. Even chimpanzees and gorillas, our closest genetic cousins, lack chins. Instead of poking forward, their lower jaws slope down and back from their front teeth. Even other ancient hominids, like the Neanderthals, didn’t have chins —their faces simply ended in a flat plane, Ed Yong writes for The Atlantic.

“If you’re looking across all of the hominids, which is the family tree after the split with chimpanzees, there [are] not really that many traits that we can point to that we can say are exclusively human,” Duke University’s James Pampush tells Robert Siegel for NPR. “[T]hose animals all walked on two legs. The one thing that really sticks out is the chin.”

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master's of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen - two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie - two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia - and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, two rescue pups, and two guinea pigs.

Carol's Archives 2009-2013

9 COMMENTS

  1. The speech organs of the Neanderthars have been reconstructed. They could — if thay had language — only have spoken with high and creaky voices, due to thair not having either chins nor vocal chords in the right places. — By the way: as I am a speakre or squeaker of Norwegians, I have found it most bothersome that natives of Norway’s Bergen City alike with Jerusalem Israëlites of the Rehavia neighbourhood of Rehavia posess the sme forementhined impediment. No wonder theyy now wish to annex Jeriko, which is the first site attested to the earliest attested Neanderthal (aside from Jordan Valley) site after thair ignoble departuring from Africa — possibly the “casus originatum (or the) fundus classicum” for these Neanderthal stories of the “escape from Egypt”.
    Here in Norway, the “Northern Kingdom” (Israël) lies in the shire of Sunnmøre, shilsk´t the Southern Kingdom of “Israël” is situated on all along the cove of our southern coastline. In-between and quite betwiqed lies Bergen — our Philistiene and Punic/Philistine/Minor trade republic (Isräel & Lebanon) non-confederacy minor stetes on the littoral of the east coast of the Mederitarian Ocaen.

    • nawlins, Not sure what the marking are all about. I did not know those were celtic markings, thanks for the heads up. I just chose that skull since there was a bit of interest in those items on the skull. I did a bit of looking into this and find that you can buy human skulls. I am not sure if these marks on the skull were placed to honor, elevate, or as a desecration of a human being after death. Everyone has at least one skull, right? A skull represents one dead person or animal. This is probably the part of a body that will almost always be found when digging up a grave, unless death was from a beheading as in a Highlander episode. In further searching for Celtic information I came up with this website. https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/vergano/2012/10/27/celtic-sacrifice-gordion/1661011/

    • Thanks carol. Since my ancestry is Celtic I recognized the pattern on the top of the skull straight off. As for the other markings, I don’t know.

    • JoveBove, No problem. I guess posters do not have an edit button to correct mistakes that happen so easily when typing. If I make a typing mistake, and notice it, I can edit it…seems like you should be able to do so also…..

  2. An other à propos: The scions of the Spanish royal family of the renaissance and early moderne times — who came to rule much of northern Italy, Sicily and Naples, much of the low Countrias and becoming German emperors trhough being kings, queens or electors of Austria (and alsom kings of Bohemia(Checkia) and Moravia(Mähren) — all those pious poop monarcs all had the cheek to sport thair extremely protruding Cheek all over Europa and the World. What a wonderful sugette for political charicature!
    ALso, female witches have traditionally been drawn with long but meager cheeks.
    Keep up the good work, Madame Buff!

  3. Something to do with fighting maybe? In fighting it is quite common to refer to people who get knocked out easily as having ‘Glass chins’ or the opposite ‘Granite chins’. But it seems like a weakness since it is one of the best places to hit someone if you want to knock them out. Maybe protection, however, seems easier to whip someones head around when hitting an easy target like a protruding chin. We could run some tests hitting other primates on their non-chinned jaws to see if they are easier to knock out or tougher to??

    my 2 cents….