A new study published in the Journal of Anatomy found that humans are increasingly being born without wisdom teeth. Researchers also found that the median artery in the forearm, which used to form in the womb but disappear after birth, is sticking around more often after birth. These changes are showing up far more often than typical human evolution would suggest — and indicates that the human race may be evolving faster than it has at any point in the last 250 years.
“This is what we call ‘microevolution of modern humans,’” said Dr. Teghan Lucas, a professor at the College of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, who worked on the study. Lucas, along with University of Adelaide professors Maciej Henneberg and Dr. Jaliya Kumaratilake, found that as human faces have gotten shorter, our mouths have consequently become smaller — thus, less room for wisdom teeth. Humankind’s increased ability to chew food, along with the rise in processed foods, also seems to have accelerated this evolutionary trait.
The article moves on to note other anatomical features that would have been classed as uncommon just a few centuries ago. That, my friends, is the blink of an eye in classic evolutionary time.