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your comment, your name will be shown, and may be linked to your website if provided, but the email you enter will not be published.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


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