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  • Writer's pictureJonathon Jundt

The Mandible

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

We breathe, consume nutrients, speak, taste, and demonstrate emotions through an apparatus shared with sentient beings from 60-70 million years ago. Triceratops is considered to have lived for ~2-4 million years depending on the method of analysis.

Humans in the modern form are thought to have appeared ~ 300,000 years ago. If one were to assume a logical evolutionary progression, Occam's Razor might provide that extremities facilitate nutrient introduction in close proximity to the alimentary tracts and certainly not through the same mechanism that results in respiration, speech, and affection. However, the evolutionary process of speaking, breathing, and eating through the same tract is efficient, yet illogical. Nature is the master of efficiency, not logic. This entire, and apparently important system, fails without the mandible or lower jaw and complex associated muscles, airway, and accessory bones. That the hearing apparatus morphed from mandibular integration to a separate system is intriguing. Triceratops, Brachylophosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus all featured a trigeminal nerve. Thus, dinosaurs likely experienced pain (toothaches?) and damage to those nerves likely resulted in numbness of the lip, teeth, and gingival tissues. If humans and extinct dinosaurs share almost no discernible DNA (subject to source as some argue it is possible), one must ask why we share anatomical details as distinct as innervation of the facial structures.

Jaw muscle anatomy in three dinosaurs in lateral view. Right, superficial muscles; left, deeper muscles. (A) Edmontosaurus (CMN, 2289; modified with permission from Rybczynski et al., 2008) with jugal removed; (B) Diplodocus (CM 3452); (C) Majungasaurus (FMNH PR2100).

The average generation length is 31 years. This implicates that 10,000 years results in 358 generations and the time between Triceratops and modern humans would be 243,400 generations. The majority of non-royalty, non-Icelandic humans can list no more than 5 generations of direct relatives. In different terms, roughly 7.8 billion people do not know the names or lives of relatives from 200 years ago.

How many humans have lived in the last 300,000 years? It is estimated that 2.5 billion tyrannosaurus rex's graced this earth.... It is estimated that 109 billion humans have ever lived over the past several hundred thousand years. This would make homo sapiens far more "successful" than Tyrannosaurus rex. In almost every category of sentient life, the number, volume, size, or frequency of an entity may be wholly unrelated to the success of the organism. For example, it is estimated that up to 10 quintillion insects live at any given time on earth.

Fundamentally, it is intriguing to question why dinosaurs and humans share so many similar features despite multiple extinction events over millions of years unless the follow configuration is a universe(al) norm.

2 eyes, ears, arms, legs

1 brain, nose, tongue

facial skeleton

facial muscles

articulated joints

cardiovascular system

pulmonary system

digestive system

reproductive system

nervous system

endocrine system

integumentary system

After all, it is possible that humans are simply the ancestors of prehistoric rats who may have evolved from dinosaurs.

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