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Re: Wisdom Teeth in Fossil Record
dbensen wrote quoting somebody:
> Wisdom teeth are specifically a Homo sapiens thing - basically, our snouts
> are too short for our third molars, but we haven't gotten around to losing
> them yet.<<
I don't know how we can say that wisdom teeth are specifically a *Homo
sapiens* thing. All mammals have variations based on a common dentition
pattern. We humans have 2 premolars and 3 molars [on each side of each
jaw] and evolutionarily we are gradually losing that 3rd molar (commonly
known as the wisdom tooth). Adult pigs (long snout) have 4 premolars
and 3 molars. Adult cats (short snout) have 3 premolars and 1 molar on
the upper jaw and 2 premolars and 1 molar on the lower jaw.
> How did people deal with wisdom teeth before we started pulling them out?
Most (not all) of the problem with wisdom teeth comes from our genetic
blending of facial features as the world grows smaller and smaller.
Roberta Meehan, PhD