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Eating habits and food processing skills around two million years ago helped humans to evolve and develop language. Researchers Harvard University say that learning to cut meat and using basic stone tools to process food were crucial steps our evolutionary process. The fact that we cut food or pounded and crushed it meant we needed less time chewing. This gave our mouths more free time to develop language and communicate. The researchers estimate that cutting meat and other food saved early humans as many as 2.5 million chews year. In contrast, the chimpanzee spends half its day chewing, which means it has less time to communicate.

The researchers also said the shape our face changed because we needed to chew less. Our jaws and teeth became smaller because we had learnt to cut food. Professor Daniel Lieberman said: "We went having snouts and big teeth and large chewing muscles to having smaller teeth, smaller chewing muscles, and snoutless faces. Those changes, and others, allowed the selection speech and other shifts the head, like bigger brains." Dr Lieberman chewed raw goat meat to test his theory. He said: "You chew and you chew and you chew and you chew, and nothing happens." He added that some extent, slicing meat smaller pieces before chewing, "is the simplest technology all".

 
 

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