One for the Ladies

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Update: In order to avoid an international incident, I have to iron out a few diplomatic issues before I can post the Adventure of Vampire Island. The vampires are especially sensitive about international relations, and they're real sticklers for protocol. In the meantime I'll crank the fact engine back up.

Everyone knows that the easiest way to distinguish a man from a woman without looking at the face is to count the ribs; women have 12, while men have 11. But fellas, where did our extra rib go? To answer that question, we need to look far back at our ancestors to understand the evolution of man.
Turns out that our most recent ancestors, Homo Medivicus (the humans of the middle ages), faced an unprecedented challenge when hunting: the rise of constrictors. This family of snakes - including boas, vipers, and and pythons - acquired an impressive adaptation which allowed killing of prey by strangulation. Of course, walking upright left man at an exceptional disadvantage against this new threat. Homo Medivicus's soft fleshy neck was susceptible to quick strangulation and hunting was therefore no picnic. As always, evolution stepped in to even the scales. Slowly, the bottom rib migrated up through the chest, forming a shield bone - known informally as the "Adam's apple", or simply the "throat bone" - in the throat. The adaptation was, of course, male specific, since hunting was traditionally carried out by men, and the last rib plays a crucial role in child bearing.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Ricky Welch said...

I read the TransHomo Medivicus is not afraid of snakes and is a first class hunter; however, by the rule of tribal custom is forced to stay by the fire and look pretty.

9:26 PM  
Blogger duffytoler said...

The story of trans-Homo medivicus is certainly one of the more unusual paths of adaptation that nature took. Sitting around the fire looking pretty for the men, lip-synching to the songs the women were singing, doing each other's hair... Pity the genetics for this are such a recessive trait.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Disgruntled Government Employee said...

Are you kidding me? That's the most outlandish thing I think I've ever read. Homo Medivicus? Funny. Rib "migrating" through the chest? Ridiculous. The notion of men having one less rib than women? False. The "throat bone" is actually thyroid cartilage. And the name of the "adam's apple?" Prominentia laryngea. The larynx, or "voice box," is surrounded by plates of cartilage that prevents it from collapsing. The "adam's apple" is simply a ridge where two plates meet. The reason why men have one and women appear to not have one (they do by the way, it's just not prominent) is because hormones cause the larynx to grow during puberty, causing the voice of a male to deepen. The myth of men having one less rib than women comes from the bible. However, where you got the genetic mutation stemmed from killer pythons idea, I have no clue.

References: www.madsci.org, www.answerbag.com, www.medterms.com, common sense

12:02 PM  
Blogger krissy said...

@Disgruntled Government Employee:

Have you read the "Note for the Teachers" (or something) Section? Read it. You'll see.

3:37 AM  

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