Latest research awakens debate over why people can’t keep their mouths closed

By Laura Sanders, 11:29 AM April 21, 2011

Scratching relieves an itch, sneezing clears out the nose and drinking relieves thirst. And yawning … does something.

Researchers have been trying to finish that sentence for centuries. This involuntary, obvious and sometimes contagious behavior afflicts most humans — even those still in the womb — multiple times a day. Yawning isn’t even restricted to people: Snakes, ostriches, hedgehogs and fish have been spotted throwing their mouths open for a satisfying yawn. Yet for a behavior so comm...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/yawn