“Habsburg Jaw,”Product of Inbreeding: Duh!

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Health Editor’s Note: Ah, inbreeding at its “finest.”. The Habsburg Jaw is mandibular prognathism (MP, or protruding jaw) and maxillary deficiency (sunken midface)…..Carol

The Distinctive ‘Habsburg Jaw’ Was Likely the Result of the Royal Family’s Inbreeding

by Lila Thulin/Smithsonian.com

The family tree of the Habsburgs, a German-Austrian ruling family whose domain stretched from Portugal to Transylvania, is a tangled one. Like many royal families, the Habsburgs made strategic marriages to consolidate their power, often to close relatives. And while the dynasty’s regalia was glittery and their palaces splendid, the royals themselves were markedly less easy on the eyes: Generation after generation, Habsburg monarchs had sharply jutting jaws, bulbous lower lips and long noses. This distinctive “Habsburg jaw,” a new analysis published in the Annals of Human Biology finds, most likely resulted from inbreeding.

The researchers, led by geneticist Román Vilas from Spain’s University of Santiago de Compostela, focused on 15 members of the so-called Spanish Habsburgs. While the Habsburg family rose to power in central Europe as the rulers of Austria, Germany and eventually the Holy Roman Empire, the family’s influence spread westward to Spain after Philip I, son of the second Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, married Joan of Castile in 1496. The Spanish Habsburgs’ reign lasted two centuries, until the 38-year-old Charles II, a king whose manifold health woes and infertility scholars often attribute to severe inbreeding, died in 1700 with no immediate heir.

Vilas and his colleagues honed in on Spanish Habsburgs….

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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 – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe the artist was just a surrealist ahead of his time. On second thought, who’d pay money for that portrait?

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