Men with strong jaws, broad cheekbones and good teeth may have been considered hunks eons ago, just as they are today, say paleontologists at the Natural History Museum in London.
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At the same time, the canine teeth shrunk over time, making men appear less threatening to enemies but presumably more attractive to females.
One possible explanation for the variation could be sexual selection -- That is, females found males with certain facial characteristics simply irresistible and chose them as mates.
"The evolution of facial appearance is central to understanding what makes men and women attractive to each other," lead author Eleanor Weston says in a news release. "We have found the distance between the lip and brow was probably immensely important to what made us attractive in the past, as it does now."
The findings appear in the online journal PloS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science.
For the complete study, go to www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0000710.