Saturday, June 9, 2012

Our heads are getting larger

According to a report in National Geographic, our heads are getting larger.


From 1825-1985, the span of the skull has increased by about a third of an inch. The size amounts to about a tennis ball worth of additional volume. This doesn't necessarily translate to greater intelligence.

Anthropologist Richard Jantz, shared the findings at a meeting of the American Association for Physical Anthropology. Scientists aren't certain why this might be happening, but have suggested some possible explanations: increased c-sections, vaccinations, or changes in diet or exercise.

8 comments:

Gregory Lee said...

That's hard to get my head around. Maybe we've been getting more food for thought.

Lee Jerrett said...

My guess is a better diet, people became shorter after the introduction of agriculture, as well as having shorter life-spans and tooth decay. Today our diet allows people to reach their genetic potential in height. Taller people have proportionately more brain volume, so it could be really that people are able to grow bigger all over, not just in their skull capacity.

johnnykaje said...

Another contributing factor: the prevalence of c-sections. Baby head size is limited by the width of the birth canal, or at least, it USED to.

dzart said...

Haha!
Maybe humans really will all eventually have giant brains and frail bodies, floating around in hover chairs.

Dan Kent said...

Hey I didn't give permission for you to put my picture in this post!

Casey Klahn said...

That's a funny observation, because the other day I was looking and I noticed that my head has narrowed. I'm always so out-of-step with the times.

jeff jordan said...

Seems like a lot of politicians heads are getting SMALLER...................

Markus said...

Especially during the time of the 19th the average size for humans was quite short, this was mainly a result of a very bad nutrition for large parts of the populations.
If humans grow bigger as a result of a better diet, their skulls grow larger as well. Interestingly this results also in a change of head and face proportions. You can see a similar phenomen also in some animals. In some species unusually large specimens (normally males) sometimes show quite extreme skull mophologies, for example in elephants or bears. or