1 in 13 people have bendy chimp-like feet
2013 05 30

By Colin Barras | NewScientist

You may be walking on chimp-like feet without knowing it. At least 1 in 13 of us have feet that are specially adapted for climbing trees.

Textbooks will tell you that the human foot is rigid, which allows more efficient walking. Other apes, in contrast, have flexible feet better suited to grasping branches as they move through the trees. But the textbooks are wrong, say Jeremy DeSilva and Simone Gill at Boston University.

The pair asked 400 adults to walk barefoot around the Boston Museum of Science while they filmed their feet. This revealed that 8 per cent of people have some mid-foot flexibility, rather like that seen in tree-dwelling apes (American Journal of Physical Anthropology, doi.org/mmh). In another, soon-to-be-published analysis, Robin Huw Crompton at the University of Liverpool, UK, found that a flexible mid-foot may be even more common than DeSilva and Gill suggest.

So what does a flexible foot look like? It bends at the ball of the foot, and also halfway between the heel and the ball. All human feet have a joint at this point – but in most of us, stiff ligaments span the joint and keep it rigid. In some people, however, the ligaments are softer, allowing the mid-foot to bend. Close-ups of flexible feet as they unroll during walking make the bend obvious, but DeSilva says their owners were not aware of anything unusual, nor was their gait any different. "I was, and continue to be, surprised by this," he says.

Crompton thinks flexible feet may have been with us since the dawn of our species, as a relic of our tree-dwelling days. Other features were lost along the way. Chimpanzees, for instance, have opposable toes for gripping.

On the strength of his study, Crompton believes most feet can produce this flexibility in specific circumstances, adding vital stability. "For instance, our work shows that it is important during a sudden change of speed."

[...]

Read the full article at: newscientist.com



Related Articles
Human hands and feet have fishy origins


Latest News from our Front Page

Climate March in New York City Reveals Communists Demanding ’Revolution, Nothing Less’ - Trash the City With Garbage
2014 09 22
Tens-of-thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of New York City Sunday to demand political leaders take action on climate change. While the protest remained peaceful, much of the “People’s Climate March” appeared to be made up of fringe elements of the political left. Dozens of signs denouncing capitalism were spotted at the demonstration, often held by self-proclaimed socialists. “Capitalism is destroying the ...
Google 2.0 Will Build Cities And Airports
2014 09 22
The world’s got problems and the Google CEO is searching for solutions. As if self-driving cars, balloon-carried internet, or the eradication of death weren’t ambitious enough projects, Google CEO Larry Page has apparently been working behind the scenes to set up even bolder tasks for his company. The Information reports that Page started up a Google 2.0 project inside the company ...
Why is the US - Mexico Border left open?
2014 09 22
Zach Taylor Interview from the film; "Back to the Border" JFA Retired Border Patrolman of 27 years gives exclusive interview to Chris Burgard for the film, "Back to the Border." Some scary stuff about human trafficking, guns, drugs and how governments are involved. This guy should know. Source: youtube.com A look at Mexico’s Immigration Laws - Who Knew?
The Georgia Guidestones Have Officially Been Updated with the Year 2014
2014 09 22
The elite’s cryptic monument to depopulation and world government just became more mysterious (and creepier) – somebody has officially updated it with an engraved cube marking the year 2014 inserted into the English/Spanish slab of the ’new 10 commandments’ for the ’Age of Reason’ desired by its creators. Read the rest: TRUTHstreammedia
VOTER FRAUD: Was the Scottish Independence Referendum Rigged to Fail?
2014 09 20
Was voter fraud committed during the Scottish Independence referendum? It has been confirmed that the names of 10 people were already crossed off a voter list prior them voting inside a polling station. According to reports, the Glasgow City Council confirmed that there were ten cases of suspected electoral fraud occurring at polling stations following the Scottish referendum vote on the 18th. ...
More News »