How did eyebrows evolve and what will they look like in a million years?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Eyebrows have evolved as being important in the non-verbal communication process to each other. In a million years, the communication of eyebrows will hopefully be understood better, and convey non-verbal thoughts far more expressive than we could possibly fathom now. Here is an example of how eyebrows have evolved in just the past couple of decades.

    Also, eyebrows are tweeked into shapes, usually arches. The arch has gotten higher over time. I suspect that the arch is here to stay, but there may be times when a wavy, swoop, or even some fancy design will become popular.

    I also think that you would enjoy this FACS program that helps one decode facial actions.

    I bet you are also wondering why we even have eyebrows. Well, I've got the link for that as well!

  • 1 decade ago

    Answer 1

    At the last meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, Jean Carruthers MD, clinical professor, department of ophthalmology, University of British Columbia, called the eyebrow the 'curtain rod' for the upper eyelid.

    In other words, in order for the upper eyelid to work, the muscles that form the lid have to pull themselves up against something. The eyelid muscles are attached to the structure of the brow, which therefore is rather like the wooden pole at the top of a blind, or a curtain rod.

    Another theory is that evolution has shaped the bony protuberance of the eyebrow, because it's very important in forming some protection to the soft part of the eyeball, along with other bones of the face. Without the bones which surround and protect the eye, any blow across the face would damage the eyes. Instead, the eyebrows help to stop anything which hits the face.

    The eyebrow may play a part in diverting sweat from the brow down the side of the face and away from the eyes where it would play havoc with vision.

    Answer 2

    See the pic : http://img321.imageshack.us/img321/2082/hominids3i...

    the Skulls are arranged cronologically from past to recent

    Note that skulls A, B, and C have distinct eyebrow ridges that gradually flattened and the modern humans don't have it or have minimum ridges, So we could presume after a million years there could be eyebrows but no eyebrow ridges at all.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm really glad this question was asked! Before launching into a tyrade about how none of you seem to understand the basic concepts of evolution, I will be generous and suggest that you do some reading. I'll assume you are mostly students. Its summer, and your brains need some exercise, no?

    Evolution is a process of adaptation to the environment- the reason humans evolved in such a diverse manner (skin color and so forth) is because of the specific environment we adapted to. There is much more diversity among the other animals for that reason. Humans also adapted through culture- but that is a diferent story.

    Eyebrows (which we all have) probably were an adaptation to protect the eyes from dust and sweat, as someone else suggested. We probably will not ever "evolve" away from eyebrows. Cavemen did not live a million years ago, BTW, and we are the same species as caveman, anyway- Cro-Magnon was an anatomically modern human.

    If you are really interested in evolution, please pick up a book. Something besides the biology text from the local high school. If you are particularly clever, and realy like to read, the best source is Darwin's The Origin of Species, then there is Richard Dawkin's The Ancestor's Tale- but it is quite hefty. I hope you all learn a lot, because until people start asking questions and really finding out what the theory of evolution is, there will be silly debates about people evoloving from monkeys and teaching ID in schools forever!

    Source(s): Boise State University- Anthropology Department
  • 1 decade ago

    How did eyebrows evolve?

    I belive that eyebrows evolved to keep sweat out of our eyes. Sweat running down your forhead will generally run down your noes, through your eyebrows, or down the side of your face. Hair, as most people know, can hold a lot of moisture, which is why eyebrows are not huge, but they still absorb some of the moisture from sweat and keep that much more out of our eyes, letting us see better when sweating.

    What will they look like in a million years?

    This depends on many things. With our science now, we could stop human evoloution, having humans in a million years look the same and be the same as now.

    We could also change the look to make the eyebrow disapear, along with many other genetic changes that are possible with technology now and what will be created in the next million years.

    And who is to say that we will even be humans in a million years? We might continue to evolve and cease to be humans as we know it.

    Another thing is that while a million years is a long length of time, in an evoloutionary sense, it isn't really that huge. A good deal of time, yes, like someone turning 20, but not an amount of time that any major things should happen in. However, eyebrows changing is a relatively minor thing, so who knows.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Eyebrows evolved the same way all other meanignless parts of our body evolved, randomly. The eyebrow used to stick out on a pointy bone off the bottom of the forehead and was much larger and longer to keep the sun and the sweat out of the eyes. Now adays we arent likely to be outdoors 24 hours a day and hunting our food with spears so we need eyebrows less and less the more we evolve and increase our technologies. Im not a scientist or a historian....but this was on the discovery channel one day and it makes more sense than just saying it looks good. To say we have eyebrows because they "look good" is completely retarded to be blunt. If humans did not have eyebrows we would be so used to seeing no eyebrows on people that if you did have eyebrows you would be considered wierd or ugly. If humans had 3 legs it would be pretty wierd if you saw a two-legged human wouldnt it? Same logic here....eyebrows dont make us look normal, our perception on ourselves makes us look normal. If you went to sleep and woke up in a million years then you would think all people looked wierd because we will all one day have the same race and look more alike the further we go into the future. Picture a world full of tan skinned chinese people, thats what we will all look like one day, deal with it.....heres a stat to back it up.....there are 400% more interracial couples now than there were 10 years ago......and over 10,000% more than there were 50 years ago. Soon there will be one race, not 1000. It only makes sense that way, no other. Eyebrows wont be what changes, its everything that will change.

  • 1 decade ago

    The process of evolution occurs on a time scale much longer than what humans can observe--tens of thousands or up to millions of years. Note that all recorded human history is not much more than 5000 years, nowhere near long enough for any type of evolutionary development. Things like eyebrows and eyelashes probably evolved a million years ago when they DID serve a life saving purpose. By the way, this purpose does not have to be a matter of life and death itself, but *on average* if creatures with eyebrows found more mates and and had more children than creatures without eyebrows, then the eyebrow ones would be chosen by natural selection. Maybe eyebrows are there because they make us attractive to a mate? Point is: it doesn't have to be life and death. As long as the trait is something that results in more offspring, or healthier ones, then it will dominate over the millennia and will be carried forward by evolutionary processes.

    Similarly, regarding its evaluation over a million years.. Assuming we live in a clean, pure and cool environment, it is quite possible that eyebrows gradually disappear.. But the thing is the human populace is so diverse and living in such diverse conditions that it is impossible to predict how eyebrows or lashes will evolve. So in some countries they could get thicker and some thinner, etc.

  • 1 decade ago

    Eyebrows evolved at the same time as the caterpillar - it proves our symbiosis with the insect world - The human face was the perfect place for the early caterpillar to rest disguised as an eyebrow - from there it could suddenly leap out and grab a passing aphid - sometimes however it would grab the wrong thing - maybe some fish and chips or an ice cream which was infinitely more use to the human - hence the man/woman putting up with the caterpillar's presence . Once man had evolved enough to go and buy his own fish and chips/cold refreshment , the caterpillar became obsolete but the evolved eyebrow stayed - a give-away sign of our insectorial past . As for what they will look like in the future - I would imagine smaller and thinner if commercial tweezers are anything to go by .

  • 1 decade ago

    Eyebrows actually serve the same purpose as our eyelashes do. They protect our eyes from perspiration, help to keep small particles at bay, and too...supposedly shade our eyes from the sun, though some obviously work better than others for example, Groucho Marks, Donald Trump and my great Uncle Hector's. Down through time though we've evolved into a more fashion conscious society, and thank goodness began to clip, pluck, style and color. In the year 2006 there is absolutely no more excuses for bushy brows. Both guys and gals can now schedule an appointment with an actual...eyebrow artist. An eyebrow artist will shape and style your eyebrows to best suit your facial features. Eyebrows can make or break your look, so caution when trying a do-it-yourself-er at home. As far as what they might look like in a million years, it's hard to say. I just hope that our world is still sound enough that something as trivial as...eyebrows might still be a subject of interest.

    Source(s): Degree in cosmetology, and have been in cosmetic retail for a number of years.
  • Aria
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Brows over the eyes have evolved over time. Brows first made a must-have a debut in the Middle East, where dusty traveler's needed a buffer for the cone shaped grease they worse under their turbans. These cones were perfumed and when heated ran down the body thus causing an nice aroma plus moisture for the skin. So that this concoction wouldn't grease the eyes plus attract sand, eyebrows were a necesary eye protectant. This proceeded for many years. Somewhere the fasion way, eyebrows were removed, for religious reasons (see the Mona Lisa painting). Eyebrows were considered an enticement for many eyes were pretty and the eyebrows do add definition of the eyes. Some claim that the eyebrows compliment and add a frame to the eyes. When that phase was over, women the world over began to do as the French. The women of the day plucked and colored, much like Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine who ascended the throne with her young husband. She had a passion for fragrance and makeup. Over the years, women were told that "ladies of the night" or "floozies" wore make up. So, the eyebrown went down again. Nothing was done with it for a long time, as women shunned color and any thing to do with beauty. This was the Victorian Age. Now, we are in a new age. Brooke Shields popularized and revolutionized the way brows were. In the 60's and early 70's eyebrows were plucked to death and into a straight or arched line. In the 80's, the eyebrows of Brooke were all the rage and people let them grow. Today's style is a combo. Not too pencil thin, but not too busy. Brow style has become paramount to the look of the face. In a million years, who can say? If we last that long, maybe we will still have brows. With the rate we are going with depletion in the Ozone layer, we may our eyebrows scorched off.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, if you think about it ... there have been HUGE climate changes throughout the history of the Earth. I believe, or at least, it seems logical to think that eyebrows were once a lot more hairy than they are now considering the cold climate from the ice age. The idea is, that humans and animals alike evolve in relation to their surroundings and environmental changes. Logically, if it's cold, fur (or hair) will evolve and the same for the opposite; if it's hot, then hair or fur will be shed. And to be honest, the answer to the question as to what eyebrows will look like in a million years all depends on our behaviors towards nature and Earth. Considering how the situation is now with global warming ... continuing on this path would only make way for a much hotter future and in that case, eyebrows may as well disappear in an effort to give way to more prespiration and temperature control within the body. On the contrary, if things are done to improve our current conditions then they will most likely stay as is with no changes.

    Source(s): College (lol ...studying)
  • 1 decade ago

    More than likely, eyebrows were meant to aid as a shield to light as well as a shield against perspiration. Older forms of humanoids had larger foreheads that were sloped and bushier eyebrows. This would suggest that such hominids were continuously exposed to sunlight and would need some way to allow their eyes the best chance to search for prey.

    Eyebrows could catch beads of sweat and provide additional "shading" for eyes by acting as a barrier, the same way a row of trees can act like a windbreak. Over time, as man evolved and became more domesticated, the eyebrow became less pronounced. It would also make sense that during mating, since appearance is crucial, thicker and bushier eyebrows would be less desirable. Therefore, the genetic marker which carries this trait would not have the opportunity to move forth into later generations.

    In a million years, if we continue along this same path, eyebrows will either be so thin or no longer expressed phenotypically. If there is a change in the evolutionary path, eyebrows could return to their original status. But then again, eyebrows could form into keratinized horns as humans evolve into another species.

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