The hypoglossal canal and the origin of human vocal behavior.

  title={The hypoglossal canal and the origin of human vocal behavior.},
  author={Richard F Kay and Matt Cartmill and M Balow},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  volume={95 9},
The mammalian hypoglossal canal transmits the nerve that supplies the muscles of the tongue. This canal is absolutely and relatively larger in modern humans than it is in the African apes (Pan and Gorilla). We hypothesize that the human tongue is supplied more richly with motor nerves than are those of living apes and propose that canal size in fossil hominids may provide an indication about the motor coordination of the tongue and reflect the evolution of speech and language. Canals of gracile… CONTINUE READING
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