• Question: Why do we have lips? What is their purpose?

    Asked by sarryrocks to Cat, Daz on 24 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Darren Braddick

      Darren Braddick answered on 24 Jun 2011:

      Hi Sarryrocks!

      Thank you for your question and a great chat earlier. The most likely reason for lips is to serve as an opening to the body. If you consider the lips of the mouth, they assist in eating because they allow an opening to your mouth and therefore the stomach. Because they are soft and flexible, they can also be closed – that means we can chew and keep food inside!

      In humans, and a few other animals though, they have an important role in how we talk – how we make sounds and speak. They help and can assist in sound formation. If you think about it too, they have a role in human expression. Small things like how the lips are positioned, and if they are opened or closed, these things can give you some insight into how a person is feeling and what they may be thinking, to some degree! The human face is amazingly complex for demonstrating how we feel, so it is true for most people that if you can measure how they feel to some accuracy just by their face…

      One other interesting thing is that the lips are very sensory and highly sensitive to feeling and touch, which might be why it hurts so much when you accidentally chew or cut them :s

      I hope this helps!

      Thank you for asking :d


    • Photo: Cat O'Connor

      Cat O'Connor answered on 24 Jun 2011:

      Great answer Daz!