Functional Features: The Evolution of the Human Face

7:24 minutes

Female and male cartoon faces, from Shutterstock
Female and male cartoon faces, from Shutterstock

Many species depend on scent to identify individuals, but humans tend to rely on facial recognition. So while you might mutter about the shape of your mouth, our varied facial features allow us to differentiate one from another. Michael J. Sheehan, co-author of a study published in Nature Communications this week, explains how human social interaction may have been the reason faces evolved to be unique.

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Michael Sheehan

Michael Sheehan is a NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California.

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About Becky Fogel

Becky Fogel is a newscast host and producer at Texas Standard, a daily news show broadcast by KUT in Austin, Texas. She was formerly Science Friday’s production assistant.

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