The evolution of man continues

Humans have evolved a lot compared to the early Homo sapiens. Although it may seem that the evolution of man has stopped, it has not, it continues slowly and steadily through the centuries.

evolution of man

As evidence of this, a team of scientists discovered a new artery in the forearms of some babies. The discovery was made by scientists at Flinders University, Australia.

The median artery is part of the evolution of man

The new artery, or “median artery,” forms during the first weeks of gestation within the womb. It is also called the satellite artery of the median nerve. It is located in the center of the forearm and carries blood to the hands as they develop. However, it disappears around 8 weeks gestation in the fetus.

At that time it is no longer useful, for the other two arteries that will accompany the baby all his life have already formed. These arteries are the ulnar and the radial. The radial artery is the one used to measure a person’s pulse.

What caught the scientists’ attention is that the median artery is present in more and more gestations. Research continued and they discovered that many adult people have that artery.

The median artery began to figure more in the 19th century

Thanks to other research they detected that already in the 19th century the median artery was present in more and more people. At that time, the incidence was 10% of the population. At the end of the 20th century, this percentage increased to 30%.

This indicates a microevolution and they predict that the presence of such an artery will become more and more frequent in the next 80 years. That is, more and more adults will retain the median artery in addition to the ulnar and radial arteries in their arms.

The studies were made possible by cadaver donations in Europe and Australia. The anatomical researchers claim that this feature became entrenched over time. They determined that it may be a mutation of the genes responsible for developing the median artery. Another possibility is maternal health problems during gestation, or both.

The study was published in the Journal of Anatomy. It is believed that by 2100 the median artery will be common in most births. However, it is not yet a defining new human trait for science. It will be considered as such when it exceeds 50% of people born with such an artery.

median artery in the evolution of man
Diagram of an arm without the median artery from Henry Gray’s famous anatomy book, first published in 1858 / Archive – Public.
Does it benefit or harm to have the median artery?

The presence of an extra artery may offer greater dexterity in the fingers. It may also offer stronger forearms, although, on the downside, it may offer greater disadvantages. One of these may be more frequent carpal tunnel syndrome.

The evolution of man continues, as evidenced by the fact that there are fewer and fewer people with the third molar. There are fewer and fewer individuals who have the so-called “wisdom tooth” present in their dentition.

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