The analysis of tooth shrinkage by C. Loring Brace and colleagues at the University of Michigan’s Museum of Anthropology indicates that human tooth size is continuing to decrease and that the evolutionary process has not yet come to a halt. In northern Europeans, for example, tooth size reduction now has a rate of 1% per 1000 years.
a. If t represents time in years and y represents tooth size, use the condition that when t = 1000 to find the value of k in the equation . Then use this value of k to answer the following questions.
b. In about how many years will human teeth be 90% of their present size?
c. What will be our descendants’ tooth size 20,000 years from now (as a percentage of our present tooth size)?