More Babies Are Now Born Without Wisdom Teeth, Study Finds
More people have been born without wisdom teeth in recent years, a new study has found.
The results of the research, published in the Journal of Anatomy, showed that the human race is evolving faster than it has done at any other point in the past 250 years.
The team of Australian scientists found that modern babies are often born with shorter faces and smaller jaws, meaning there is less room for teeth.
Dr Teghan Lucas, of Flinders University in Adelaid, said our increased ability to chew food and natural selection has resulted in fewer people with wisdom teeth.
"This is happening in time as we have learnt to use fire and process foods more," Lucas said.
"A lot of people are just being born without wisdom teeth."
The research, which Lucas carried out alongside University of Adelaide professors Maciej Henneberg and Jaliya Kumaratilake, also showed that some people are being born with additional bones in their arms and legs, or with abnormal connections of two or more bones in their feet.
In addition to this, the study found a 'significant increase' in the prevalence of the median artery since the late 19th century.
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The artery is the main vessel that supplies blood to the forearm and hand, and forms while a baby is growing in the womb.
However, it disappears during gestation and is replaced by the radial and ulnar arteries, which are two main arteries.
"But increasing numbers of cases retain it, so a person can have all three arteries," the authors said.
"This evolutionary trend will continue in those born 80 years from today, with the median artery becoming common in the human forearm."
The team said their research demonstrates how humans are changing, with Henneberg commenting: "This is 'micro evolution' in modern humans.
"The median artery is a perfect example of how we are still evolving because people born more recently have a higher prevalence of this artery when compared to humans from previous generations."
Lucas added: "A lot of people thought humans have stopped evolving.
"But our study shows we are still evolving - faster than at any point in the past 250 years."
The study's authors suggested that changes in natural selection could be the major reason for the micro-evolution.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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