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Tue Dec 3, 2019, 01:13 AM

Like Neanderthals, early modern humans used their teeth as tools


New findings bolster the argument that the two groups of early humans had a lot of behavioral similarities.

BY KATHERINE J. WU WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2019

Though often hidden behind closed lips, teeth do a lot of heavy lifting in daily life. They’re the pearly whites flashed for smiles, the sharp powerhouses that grind our food.

Our teeth can also take the place of tools, removing pen caps, tearing open bags of chips, and snipping tags off new clothes. Dentists decry the practice, but it really comes in handy—literally: Sharp-edged and stable, teeth often function as well as fingers, earning the mouth the moniker of “third hand.”

“I use my mouth all the time when both my [actual] hands are tied up,” says biological anthropologist Kristin Krueger of Loyola University Chicago. “Sometimes, it’s the only way to get things done.”

Krueger’s not alone. Plenty of modern humans join her in this convenient form of dental dexterity—and that’s apparently been the case for tens of thousands of years.

More:
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/neanderthals-early-modern-humans-teeth-tools/



Really!

4 replies, 184 views

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Reply Like Neanderthals, early modern humans used their teeth as tools (Original post)
Judi Lynn Tuesday OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Tuesday #1
handmade34 Tuesday #2
The Velveteen Ocelot Tuesday #3
wnylib Tuesday #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 01:18 AM

1. Don't we still?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 07:35 AM

2. the last time I did that

-a couple of months ago... it cost me $3000 for a new tooth

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 11:21 AM

3. Teeth are no substitute for some tools.

Socket wrenches, for example.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 05:03 PM

4. Reminds me of the scolding I got from my

dentist when I was a teenager. Back then, women and teens used bobby pins to fix hair rollers in place in order to "set" our hair for certain styles.

Since it was necessary to hold the rolled hsir in place with one.hand, I used the other hand and my teeth to open the bobby pin. This left.tiny little grooves in my front teeth. Not noticeable when I smiled, but.the dentist said it would get worse if I did not stop. He had seen it often enough to know how it happened. Then he filed them just enough to smooth them without noticeably changing the length.

Soon after, rollers and bobby pins went the way of the dinosauers and my teeth were safe.

But I still use them today to tear open bags of chips or nuts. Seems. so obvious to me that I wonder why an anthropologist would bother studying it as a comparison with HN.

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