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Author Topic: Is there an evolutionary advantage to tongue rolling?  (Read 2457 times)

Offline thedoc

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Is there an evolutionary advantage to tongue-rolling ?
Asked by Matthew


                                        Visit the webpage for the podcast in which this question is answered.

 

« Last Edit: 26/09/2013 22:44:42 by _system »


 

Offline thedoc

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Is there an evolutionary advantage to tongue rolling?
« Reply #1 on: 26/09/2013 22:44:42 »
We answered this question on the show...

         No one seems to know why some of us can roll our tongues (into a tube          shape) and some of us can't !
For years it has been thought that tongue         rolling is genetically inherited. This means that if both your parents          carry the gene and can roll their tongue, you have a 3 in 4 chance of          being able to roll your tongue too.
We don't know if there is an evolutionary          advantage.
It may be that if a gene involved in tongue rolling is close          to another important gene, they may be inherited together. (eg. people          who have cystic fibrosis seem to have protection against salmonella, so          there are lots of cystic fibrosis carriers in Europe).
Some scientists          reckon you can learn to tongue roll with practice, but you need to carry          the gene in order to succeed.
However, whether tongue rolling is genetically          inherited at all, is now debated, as studies in 1975 in identical twins          showed about 1/3 of them don't share the trait. Another study, in Spain, showed          67% women and 64% men can roll their  tongues, whilst another more recent          internet survey suggested  up to 81% people might be able to perform the          feat.
But, the long and the short          of tongue rolling is
« Last Edit: 26/09/2013 22:44:42 by _system »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is there an evolutionary advantage to tongue rolling?
« Reply #2 on: 26/09/2013 23:39:33 »
I don't believe I have the ability, but I have wondered if there would be a linguistic benefit to rolling the tongue.  Perhaps more flexibility in the tongue.  What about whistling differences?

The identical twin study sounds interesting as your stats would indicate that they may not be too different from the general population.
 

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Re: Is there an evolutionary advantage to tongue rolling?
« Reply #2 on: 26/09/2013 23:39:33 »

 

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