4-D scans show foetuses yawn in the womb
Published on Nov 22, 2012 7:23 AM
LONDON (REUTERS) - Growing into a fully formed human being is a long process, and scientists have found that unborn babies not only hiccup, swallow and stretch in the womb, they yawn too.
Researchers who studied 4-D scans of 15 healthy foetuses also said they think yawning is a developmental process which could potentially give doctors a new way to check on a baby's health.
While some scientists have previously suggested that foetuses yawn, others disagree and say it is nothing more than a developing baby opening and stretching its mouth.
But writing in the journal PLOS ONE on Wednesday, British researchers said their study was able to clearly distinguish yawning from "non-yawn mouth opening" based on how long the mouth was open.
To continue reading, log in if you are a subscriber
Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!