Thanks to Moreno Conte we have understood new concepts of human anatomy. These concepts have been thoroughly discussed in the book “How I finally strengthened my spine” and the article “Body Posture Depends on Teeth“. Thanks to Conte we have understood why a body may collapse, how does it sustain itself and how to let it come back in symmetry.
I have therefore decided to get the anatomy discoveries made by Moreno Conte and cross them with other disciplines knowledge in order to see if something good would come out. The very first thing that came to my mind has been to investigate the origin of the human species.
How did we become Homo sapiens? Well I did search a bit: by joining the palaeontologist discoveries with the new theories of human anatomy discovered by Moreno Conte an interesting picture has come out.
Nowadays I can proudly state to have opened a new path to search the world of human anthropology. I will leave this report to the palaeontologists that would like to explore this topic.
Obviously, I expect to get about a hundred of letters of complaint from obtuse palaeontologists and a couple of letters from young palaeontologists that are smart and curious. They will be the ones that will renew palaeontology.
Since now I will send the best of luck to the new palaeontologists that will embrace these intuitions: it will be tough, but you will make it!
Now let’s try to understand why the development of the human species erected on two legs would owe such evolution just to the molars. What you will read is stunning, I didn’t even believe it myself.
The history we share with the monkeys goes back to about 65 – 80 millions years ago. At these times around the Mesozoic some species did separate from the strain of the other mammals in order to create the species of the primates.
Between 35 and 5 millions years ago another species that we may call anthropoid apes separated (current gorilla, chimpanzee, orangutan…)
Finally, from the anthropoid apes another segment (the hominids) of which we are part did separate. Most likely 5 millions years ago.
The Australopithecus appeared in fact about 5 millions years ago, he was living in the Rift Valley, was about one meter tall and its weight was between 35 and 45 kilos.
How did the hominids develop and why did they have an upright position?
The thesis currently most accepted among palaeontologists, that would explain the birth of the hominids, is the following one:
The hominids would have developed most likely out of the drought that hit the earth at those times and that forced the rich tropical forests to pull back. In fact, the anthropoid apes and the other primates had widespread in a tropical environment with blooming forests where the apes and other animals could live in complete safety and abundance of food.
However due to the changes in climate the forests shrunk to spots of green havens rich of food. These spots were separated from stretches of savannah grown over with tall grass. In these savannas thrived lions and jaguars. Therefore, the first hominids were compelled to walk for small stretches in the savannah at the mercy of such aggressive predators.
The hominids crossed stretches of savannah in order to reach spots of tropical forest where they could settle, retrieve food and water. These moves were necessary for the group. They could not be avoided.
According to the thesis universally accepted, the upright position was achieved out of such need. In fact, during this brief crossing the group was very much vulnerable to the attacks of the felines that were hiding in the tall grass. The very first hominids therefore became so because during these stretches they were compelled to stay upright in order to have a better vision. Therefore, they were forcing their own posture. Obviously since the foramen magnum in the anthropoid apes is very much forward (compared to homo sapiens) they were keeping the upright position with significant efforts.
They were able to stay in such position just for few minutes. Then they had to rest. At this point the official paleontological thesis stops and does not provide any further explanation.
I must say that such thesis is not that convincing in my opinion. It must be said that palaeontology leaves a void of science that is quite wide. What is the biomechanical process that lead the hominids to become perfectly erected? It is not explained at all.
I think that the solution was hard to detect until now because the real mechanism that strengthens the spine was not known. Therefore, I believe that Starecta could provide a very important contribution to palaeontology. Later on, we will see how the leverage effect would have created the upright position.
Let’s continue by analysing official palaeontology’s state of the art.
Official palaeontology expressly declares that the main characteristic of the hominids compared to all other primates consists of:
- the biped locomotion,
- the extra thickness of tooth enamel (translated the height of the teeth) and
- the thickening of molars and premolars to the detriment of canines and incisors.
At this stage whoever is familiar with the Starecta method would immediately widen his/her own eyes. The interrelationships between these three elements will immediately become clear to any Body Balancer. However official palaeontology after having conceded that just in the hominids these 3 elements were common, will just forget about it.
In fact, palaeontology attributes these changes in the teeth only to the change in diet, not to the change of posture. According to official palaeontology the diet changed from being mostly herbivorous to mostly carnivorous. All this makes sense, but there is something that doesn’t seem right. All other primates with carnivorous diet do not show a thickening of the molars to the detriment of the canines. Why did this only happen in the hominids?
Hominids teeth show a trend reversal compared to anthropoid apes. In a chimpanzee, for instance, incisors and canines (in the anterior region) are larger and proportionally the premolars and molars (in the back) are smaller. In the Australopithecus the opposite happens: the front teeth are reduced or very much reduced, so much so that the canines will not protrude much (or at all) from the chewing plan and the incisors shows the tendency to reduce, while the back teeth are massive, at times huge, showing a dental configuration that is called polarized.
As a matter of fact, in view of the discoveries made on human biomechanics (see the Starecta method) we can say that the changes in dental anatomy are connected to the upright position and not to a change of diet. We know in fact that the skull rests on the back teeth and these are the ones that push the skull upwards.
Another anatomical feature of the hominids compared to the anthropoid apes is the location of the foramen magnum, that hole below the skull where the spine engages and on which the skull rests.
In humans the foramen magnum is forward if compared to the monkeys where in practice it is located behind the head. Now let’s imagine the effort these anthropoid apes had to endure in order to remain upright.
This exercise can be done by anyone even now. Imagine to be a monkey that on four limbs strives to stand on two feet, striving to stand upright. Close to the voluntary effort for straighten the spine there is the unintentional effort that consists in pulling the head back. This movement will help the skull to stay upright. This is the same movement that anyone that every 15 days records the new occlusion on the Rectifier does, what a coincidence!
For those that did try such experiment and had trained sensory capacities it will be evident that the skull in such movement is fully resting on the molars. The molars are pushing the skull upwards. After all this is the same movement, be it voluntary or not, that we do when we are swallowing.
In this context we shall read the development of the molars and of the premolars on which the skull rests and that allow us to keep our head high and straight. The thickening of the dental enamel too (a phenomenon that only happens in the hominids) serves to this purpose: to push the skull upwards and keep our back straight.
The main feature of the very first hominids consists of the masticator apparatus so much so that they were called Australopithecus robustus not out of their slender standing, but for their massive masticator apparatus. The point is that the masticator apparatus is used for a much more important purpose than simple chewing. It was used to generate an erect posture. Otherwise we won’t be able to justify its importance.
In this new context the jaw bones are very much developed, and the mandible is deployed by the masticatory muscles (temporal and masseter) that are quite remarkable. In turn, the size and power of these muscles will affect many aspects of the craniofacial morphology in Paranthropus. Firstly, we can observe a characteristic sagittal plane on top (back intermediate part) of the skull, which provides insertion to the temporal muscles that are of such size to almost completely envelop the cranial cavity.
Imagine the effort these first hominids had to endure in order to stay upright. Over time the head tilt and the reduction of the mandible did rationalise this effort and in fact with the progress of the evolution these muscles will tend to reduce again.
The temporal fossas (the space that is created behind the orbits, between the zygomatic arch and the cranial side wall) are quite broad and host the same muscular masses, before they would get insertion on the mandible ramus (coronoid apophysis). Consequently the zygomatic arches will be conspicuous.
They will be so because they shall provide suitable insertion areas to equally powerful masseter muscles which, in turn, will insert on the mandibular angle. It is the whole layout of the skull morphology that is particular, with the facial skeleton that has a tendency to shorten and become almost concave, ensuring a greater efficiency to the system of leverages driven by the muscles and operated by jaws and teeth.
Faced with these transformations however the palaeontologists conclude that we are in front of a new masticatory system that has adjusted to the hominids new diet. This explanation is not convincing at all. The mountain has given birth to a mouse!
What next? The mandible will be reduced again. Why that ???!!!
Looking at the mandible it will be plain that its reduction in size (in homo sapiens) is due to the fact that such a mandible, so developed in the primates, would prevent a proper upright position. Such a mandible is heavy and won’t serve the new upright position of homo sapiens.
This skull reduction in size (in the latest hominids and in the sapiens) has generated subsequent changes in the teeth anatomy. In fact, palaeontologists noticed that in the first hominids the molars were hugely more developed compared to the primates.
A further trend reversal happened then. Why?
In view of the knowledge provided by Starecta it seems evident that the explanation is simple. The head tilt is due to the protrusion of the foremen magnum (in the latest hominids) and that has made more cost effective and less weighty turning the head upwards because the head could finally rest also on the occipital bone (Moreno Conte found out that in today’s homo sapiens the skull rests on the occipital bone as well as on the molars). Moreover, with the reduction of the jaw the effort was further reduced. So massive molars are no longer needed in order to maintain the head in a raised position. That’s why the molars, in the latest hominids, shrunk again if compared to the first hominids.
At the same time another change happened and in this takes fully over the leverage effect principle discovered by Moreno Conte.
In the first hominids the most developed molar was the third molar, while in modern human beings the first molar is the most developed one. This phenomenon can be explained thanks to the leverage effect. In fact, the skull rests almost entirely on the teeth (in part also on the occipital bone) and like all the weights it has its own fulcrum. The fulcrum is the point where the most weight concentrates.
The fulcrum, in physics, is also the point of support of a leverage, when it is raising an object. Guess what the purpose of this leverage is? It just serves to raise the skull.
As the mandible shrunk (that’s why the wisdom teeth are so painful when they emerge, just out of the shrinkage of the area dedicated to the mandible) simultaneously it was approaching the skull. Consequently, the leverage fulcrum in order to contribute to the skull raising and to the upright position had to recede. In fact, a leverage is more effective when the fulcrum is far from the weight it shall lift. This way the skull weight had to move on the first molar instead than on the third one.
Someone may say that the strengthening of the internal molars was due to the shrinkage of the mandible and to the partial disappearance of the third molar. Why then didn’t the second molar enlarge? Why the most internal molar that is the farthest from the occipital cavity enlarged? Most likely due to the approach of the mandible to the skull and to the need to move away the leverage fulcrum.
Palaeontologists affirm that the enlargement of the molars in the first hominids was due to their change of diet and to the need to rip apart meat. Why then chimpanzee that regularly eat meat have molars that are so underdeveloped (fig. 3 left mandible) compared to the first hominids (fig. 3 mandible in the middle)?
It is likely then that with the change of the mandible configuration the mechanism that was supporting the skull would have become more rational and in the latest hominids the molars had shrunk. Energy conservation.
Palaeontology explains the mandible shrinkage affirming that the new masticatory system did require its shrinkage. I believe that its shrinkage is always connected to the creation of a more efficient upright system. The chimpanzee too eats meat and has a long snout as can be seen in figure 4 (chimpanzee on the left, human on the right). However, it does not seem to have problems during mastication.
However official palaeontology insists and affirms that these first species were also essentially vegetarian, so this particular morphology is explained by the fact that in the savannah there mostly were foods that were hard to chew like roots and seeds. In this case too however this thesis does not seem to be standing, since later on the hominids had continued to have molars larger than their canines.
In my opinion the explanation is different and is mostly a mechanical one. If we are building a skyscraper we shall reduce the protrusions or create a counterweight. The problem is that when we started standing on two feet we did not have a counterweight behind our skull. Therefore, we had to move back the occipital cavity and reduce the mandible weight. That is exactly what has happened.
For those that maintain that the Australopithecus had to change its own mandible due to a diet of hard seeds and roots let’s have a look at the mandible of a gorilla which usually eats seeds and roots too. In figure 5 the gorilla mandible shows how its molars are less developed not only compared to the Australopithecus, but even to humans.
(fig.5) The mandibles of Australopithecus, gorilla and human respectively from left to right.
In humans the teeth stopped having only a chewing function, in order to gain a postural one. The hominid is the only living species that has turned its teeth into a tool to support his own posture!! That is the reason why is deceptive trying to explain the hominid teeth only from the diet standpoint. Until you will keep on thinking that man’s teeth depend from his diet you will be on the wrong road. Teeth, in man, serve to a whole different purpose!
The first hominids, that had stronger molars, had a better chance to ass on their genetic heritage for three reasons:
1) During the short crossing of the savannah they could stand upright more easily and therefore watch dangers earlier and could reach shelter
2) For their endowment (remaining longer upright) they were performing a key role in the group and female chose them as their own partners right for their more important social status
3) Massive molars would ensure the possibility to better chew meat and so to digest it sooner and take over its proteins and having a stronger body would have enabled them to face the challenges and the effort for staying upright. Moreover, digesting earlier means freeing own blood from digestion duties and assign it to other functions like brain and upright position.
This has prompted hominids with developed molars to better adapt to the new challenges and to shape their species that in a short period of time did possess huge molars. At the same time those that had the occipital cavity more protruding, had been better able to stand upright and did generate offspring with a more protruding occipital cavity.
A little thought on four-legged animals fulcrum
I am convinced that differently from the human being animals have their fulcrum on the canines instead than on the molars. It is all a matter of the skull tilt. In fact, the skull protruding forward is just as if it was falling down. For this reason, it won’t make pressure on the molars but on the canines.
Certainly, there is a muscular contraction of the masseter, but the first contact is on the canines due to the tilt and that is why the masseter muscles won’t go beyond that.
In man the first molar bears the most part of the occlusion weight. Once the first molar has been contacted the two dental arches won’t further get close. The only way to make them get closer would be to grind the first molar.
In the animals the same thing happens, however the first contact happens on the canines due to the skull tilt and to the backward position of the occipital cavity.
How can we say that animals have their fulcrum on their canines?
We can deduce it by having a small experiment on ourselves. It will be sufficient to walk on four limbs and tilt our skull towards the ground. We will feel as if the skull weight would push on the canines. If we will slowly raise our head, we will feel that the weight is gradually moving on the molars.
The animal occlusion system is much more efficient than the human one because it is discharging downright. In fact, if the canines are not extruded enough it will simply increase the skull tilt up to the occlusion. If in human beings the molars are not extruded the skull weight will discharge on the spine, that will bend and generate scoliosis, kyphosis and lordosis.
Life on earth developed trying all the time to save energy and it is plain that a system of occlusion separated from the postural system, as it is in quadrupeds, would turn out to be much more efficient than an interdependent system as is the human one.
Upright position from the biomechanics point of view is a folly!