Our ancestors learnt to smile to have sex

Boston: Believe it or not but our forefathers were way smarter than us when it came to wooing the opposite sex for mating. According to a new study, Neanderthals learnt how to smile and make expressive faces in order to attract less-aggressive mates.

Researchers from the University of Milan focused on genetic samples from Neanderthals, which showed that gene mutations might have led humans to “self-select less aggressive mating partners”.

This behaviour finally led to the “self-domestication” of ancient humans. The study suggests that modern humans domesticated themselves after they split from their extinct relatives — Neanderthals and Denisovans — approximately 600,000 years ago, reported sciencemag.org. Giuseppe Testa, a molecular biologist at University of Milan in Italy, and colleagues knew that one gene, BAZ1B, plays an important role in orchestrating the movements of neural crest cells. Most people carry two copies of this gene.

—IANS

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