December 3, 2010

Evolution Made Your Guts into Noodles!

Team Traveller!
Species change over time. And these changes are called evolution. Evolution explains lots of fun things…like why our earwiggling muscles don’t work that well anymore. But we don’t NEED to turn our ears in different directions to hear saber-toothed hamsters sneaking up on us! So the muscles are almost kaput.

By Kevin Dooley
Anyway, Rob Dunn over at Scientific American came up with the Top 10 Consequences of Having Evolved. My favorite was #4: “Unsupported intestines”!

See, our ancestors walked on four legs, like most mammals. (Animals like this are called quadrupeds.) So the guts of our ancestors were stretched out evenly along our body…like a dachsund’s!

But as humans evolved and stood up, our intestines hung down. In fact, our guts are all stacked on top of each other! What stinks about that is that this puts a lot of pressure on your guts. And your intestines will try to find a way out of this mess!

That’s what a hernia is: A loop of intestines sneaking out the holes above a man’s, er, scrotum. (Look it up!) As Rob Dunn says, our intestines do this “in the way that noodles sneak out of a sieve.”

Thanks, Rob. (Read his article!)

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