If you want to discover your genetic history and where you came from... you’ve found the right place!


review of scientific and news articles on dna testing and popular genetics

Do You Have a Mental Foramen? You Might be Part Neanderthal

Thursday, November 10, 2011
A mental foramen is a small hole in the mandible whose purpose is to allow passage of nerves and vessels to the brain and probably also to relieve tension during chewing and gnawing. It has been identified as a sign of archaic humans, including Neanderthals. Do you have one?

I asked my dentist to look at my X rays on file and he confirmed I have a mental foramen. He has often told me I have "powerful" jaws. It is unclear whether there are normally two of them and what their typical positions are.

In a previous blog post, "Neanderthals in America," we discussed mental foramina (the plural of foramen), occipital bulges or bumps and other archaic skeletal traits. Melungeons seem to have many of these ancestral marks.

Do you? You might want to check with your dentist.

Studies show that Europeans have, on average, between 1 and 4 percent Neanderthal genes from an early out-of-Africa interbreeding period in the Middle East. Science has not decided to consider Neanderthals a separate species or sub-species in relation to H. sapiens sapiens (humans).

DNA Consultants offers an estimate of Neanderthal ancestry based on matches with other archaic humans called Neanderthal Index.

Line drawing of Neanderthal male ©DNA Consultants.

More information about Melungeons
Toward a Genetic Profile of Melungeons in Southern Appalachia
Melungeon Studies
Melungeon Match


Anonymous commented on 27-Dec-2011 06:06 PM

Apparently everybody has two mental foramina, one on each jaw, but the position and size are different for different people.

Please tell us what you think

Name, website, and email are optional; if we publish your comment, your name will be shown, and may be linked to your website if provided, but the email you enter will not be published.

Captcha Image

Recent Posts


crypto-Jews Lithuania Oxford Nanopore Tintagel Hohokam Leicester Robinson Crusoe Phyllis Starnes admixture Barnard College Cancer Genome Atlas Alec Jeffreys Old Souls in a New World Dragging Canoe Melungeon Union Cajuns Jews Nova Scotia European DNA Rebecca L. Cann ethics Luca Pagani Cornwall NPR Melungeon Heritage Association haplogroup E Colin Renfrew Ostenaco Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Helladic art gedmatch Pima Indians Valparaiso University haplogroup C Khoisan Cismar District of Columbia Cree Indians Gunnar Thompson Janet Lewis Crain El Castillo cave paintings Phoenicians Navajo Indians Brian Wilkes Nikola Tesla Daniel Defoe Harold Sterling Gladwin climate change prehistory rock art Jim Bentley mutation rate Patrick Pynes Smithsonian Magazine Melba Ketchum National Geographic Daily News David Cornish evolution Romania news Joseph Jacobs Antonio Torroni DNA Diagnostics Center Population genetics haplogroup X Teresa Panther-Yates Gypsies Celts Chromosomal Labs Bode Technology Peter Martyr Carl Zimmer Odessa Shields Cox Philippa Langley Acadians Lab Corp Louis XVI Ancestry.com IntegenX Marija Gimbutas Sizemore Indians megapopulations Sinaloa Anne Marie Fine population isolates population genetics Oxford Journal of Evolution Choctaw Indians Kari Carpenter education Kari Schroeder Science Daily, Genome Biol. Evol., Eran Elhaik, Khazarian Hypothesis, Rhineland Hypothesis Douglas Owsley anthropology Middle Eastern DNA statistics Mark Stoneking Miguel Gonzalez Yates surname Bentley surname research Grim Sleeper Rutgers University French DNA Chuetas Richard III Belgium Normans CODIS markers Russell Belk India African DNA Neanderthals Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Mary Settegast James Stritzel Pomponia Graecina Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Rush Limbaugh North Carolina George van der Merwede Ancient Giantns Who Ruled America prehistoric art Discovery Channel genomics labs Jesse Montes American Journal of Human Genetics Olmec health and medicine family history Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama Harold Goodwin cancer Solutreans John Ruskamp London Jewish genetics Bill Tiffee Zionism Bigfoot Marie Cheng Italy Jack Goins autosomal DNA FOX News Michael Grant Hertfordshire myths haplogroup J Richard Lewontin Colin Pitchfork Paleolithic Age Cherokee DNA epigenetics Rich Crankshaw Anacostia Indians Richmond California haplogroup B Mildred Gentry Les Miserables Comanche Indians Old World Roots of the Cherokee John Butler human leukocyte testing Wendell Paulson 23andme Zuni Indians Hopi Indians methylation Mother Qualla BBCNews Iran Applied Epistemology haplogroup W Stony Creek Baptist Church Gregory Mendel Gila River Thuya Genex Diagnostics Thruston Tablet Irish Central Magdalenian culture Timothy Bestor Cohen Modal Haplotype personal genomics cannibalism Kennewick Man ISOGG N. Brent Kennedy Holocaust Melungeons haplogroup L Anasazi Altai Turks Johnny Depp Bode Technology When Scotland Was Jewish haplogroup D The Nation magazine England Eric Wayner Hispanic ancestry Ireland Penny Ferguson Majorca Akhenaten metis haplogroup R corn National Health Laboratories Asiatic Echoes Victor Hugo race Ripan Malhi Ashkenazi Jews Turkic DNA microsatellites Panther's Lodge Publishers Sasquatch Harry Ostrer FDA Promega phenotype Middle Ages New York Academy of Sciences Current Anthropology GlobalFiler Anne C. Stone Navajo University of Leicester occipital bun Rafael Falk breast cancer Tifaneg Greeks far from the tree aliyah linguistics Family Tree DNA Charlotte Harris Reese Ukraine rapid DNA testing surnames Hohokam Indians genetic determinism Salt River Bering Land Bridge Theodore Steinberg National Museum of Natural History Waynesboro Pennsylvania ged.com Henry VII James Shoemaker medicine Melungeon Movement Holocaust Database Jone Entine Sam Kean Kate Wong Cherokee DNA Project Keros New York Review of Books MHC mummies Shlomo Sand oncology Elzina Grimwood Finnish people Svante Paabo Tom Martin Scroft Isabel Allende Wikipedia Algonquian Indians Zizmer X chromosome North African DNA Elvis Presley DNA haplogroup Z Charles Perou Chris Tyler-Smith bloviators Joel E. Harris Sonora Joseph Andrew Park Wilson Scotland Michoacan Indo-Europeans Jan Ravenspirit Franz horizontal inheritance Kentucky Roberta Estes Asian DNA Arizona State University Bureau of Indian Affairs DNA Forums Cleopatra Chauvet cave paintings archeology Nadia Abu El-Haj Roma People Monica Sanowar Riane Eisler familial Mediterranean fever Cave art haplogroup N Dienekes Anthropology Blog DNA magazine INORA Gravettian culture private allele China clinical chemistry Nayarit ethnic markers Rare Genes Asiatic Fathers of America Daily News and Analysis art history Clovis Black Irish DNA databases Black Dutch Anglo-Saxons Lebanon Abraham Lincoln Terry Gross Satoshi Horai DNA Fingerprint Test Denisovans ancient DNA EURO DNA Fingerprint Test genetics haplogroup H Elizabeth DeLand Early Jews of England and Wales Scientific American Melanesians Tutankamun Mark Thomas Jewish contribution to world literature Discover magazine mental foramen Ananya Mandal Wales single nucleotide polymorphism Mucogee Creeks polydactylism Jalisco Irish DNA FBI Cherokee Freedmen Henriette Mertz university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seafaring Smithsonian Institution Jewish GenWeb Phoenix Germany Irish history Bradshaw Foundation religion Amy Harmon Y chromosome DNA Alabama Egyptians King Arthur Donald N. Yates Panther's Lodge Arizona Central Band of Cherokees Stan Steiner giants Cismaru BATWING history of science Erika Chek Hayden B'nai Abraham Mary Kugler ethnicity Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies powwows French Canadians Richard Buckley Michael Schwartz consanguinity Sir Joshua Reynolds mitochondrial DNA research alleles Israel Peter Parham Nature Communications ENFSI Monya Baker Phillipe Charlier Secret History of the Cherokee Indians Genome Sciences Building Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales (book) Richard Dewhurst genetic memory Juanita Sims Bryan Sykes Maui andrew solomon Bulgaria Nancy Gentry hoaxes Albert Einstein College of Medicine peopling of the Americas human migrations palatal tori Native American DNA First Peoples Austro-Hungary Y chromosomal haplogroups Henry IV Telltown Epigraphic Society Wendy Roth Tennessee Mohawk DNA testing companies George Starr-Bresette Douglas C. Wallace hominids Native American DNA Test Ethel Cox Karenn Worstell Nature Genetics Britain Khazars Central Band of Cherokee Columbia University Sizemore surname Patagonia Austronesian, Filipinos, Australoid Sarmatians Science magazine clan symbols immunology Ari Plost American history origins of art Pueblo Indians Hawaii Sea Peoples Colima Slovakia Beringia Pueblo Grande Museum Jon Entine Texas A&M University Cooper surname Maya genealogy Mexico Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America PNAS Sorbs Tucson Great Goddess Washington D.C. Kitty Prince of the Bear River Athabaskans Arabic Walter Plecker Fritz Zimmerman Life Technologies Israel, Shlomo Sand Constantine Rafinesque Patrick Henry Bryony Jones pipe carving haplogroup T Neolithic Revolution Russia Douglas Preston New York Times Jewish novelists Maronites DNA security Moundbuilders Europe Stone Age Kurgan Culture Puerto Rico Caucasian Barack Obama haplogroup M HapMap Elizabeth C. Hirschman Muslims in American history William Byrd Ziesmer, Zizmor haplogroup U Ron Janke Arabia DNA Fingerprint Test Virginia DeMarce Horatio Cushman Basques Nephilim, Fritz Zimmerman Indian Territory Freemont Indians John Wilwol forensics Plato Havasupai Indians human leukocyte antigens Etruscans Sinti Stacy Schiff Chris Stringer Micmac Indians Charles Darwin M. J. Harper Taino Indians Stephen Oppenheimer King Arthur, Tintagel, The Earliest Jews and Muslims of England and Wales Virginia genealogy Eske Willerslev New Mexico bar mitzvah pheromones AP Abenaki Indians