Even apes can't 'ape' the human bite

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Melbourne, June 22 (ANI): The human bite is stronger than that of a typical ape, proving that our skull is quite strong despite its wimpish appearance, according to a new Australian research.

The study, conducted by the University of New South Wales, suggests early modern humans didn't necessarily need to use tools and/or cook to process high-nutrient hard foods like nuts.

Led by Dr Stephen Wroe of UNSW's school of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences researchers used sophisticated 3D element analysis to compare digital models of CAT-scanned skulls.

They discovered humans have a more efficient bite than those of chimps, gorillas and orangutans.

"It turns out that we don't have a wimpish bite at all - it's very efficient and powerful," News.com.au quoted Dr Wroe, as saying in a statement.

He added: "For our size, we humans are comparable in terms of maximum bite force to these fossil species.

"Size matters, but efficiency matters more - and humans are very efficient biters."

According to Dr Wroe, the results explain the apparent inconsistency of very thick tooth enamel in modern humans - a feature typically associated with high bite forces in other species.

However, today's humans may have lost their ability to eat very tough items like leaves.

Dr Wroe said: "The jaws of other species may be better adapted to maintaining chewing over long periods.

"Although humans are up there with apes in their ability to quickly crack open a hard item such as a nut, or process less tough foods such as meat, they may be less well adapted to process tough material such as leaves or bamboo, which requires sustained chewing over a long period." (ANI)

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