The Stunning Diversity of Human Faces

The Human Evolution Blog

 Summary

  • The shape and structure of the human face varies much more among individuals than do the faces of other species, even compared to species that have far more genetic diversity.
  • The shapes of human faces vary more in the population than does any other physical feature.
  • This high degree of facial diversity, which cuts across all racial groups, argues that human evolution has explicitly favored wide variance in human face shapes.
  • Humans are a highly social species with remarkable skills in facial recognition, which develop very early in childhood.
  • Therefore, the evolution of highly diversified faces may have been a key feature of human sociality and group cohesion.

What’s in a face?

You have probably noticed that human faces come in all shapes and sizes. It really seems that no two faces are the same. With over 7 billion people on the planet, there are a whole lot of…

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