Did you ever have toenail fungus? If you did then probably you have wondered why there are ten toenails in the first place, that need maintenance. Well just like you even scientists and researchers working on evolution theories have been puzzling over the same matter. Fingernails are handy tools for scratching, protecting, defending and scraping but the presence of toenails seem superfluous. The dancers and ballet artists use their toe for perfecting their craft and expressing their emotions through physical gestures. The toenail is not really necessary for this and often causes holes in our socks.
Humans have evolved from the primates. We have originated from other mammal species and like them we too have got toenails. Primates and other animals use their toenails for various purposes. For climbing trees and holding food or babies they use both feet and hands. The toe helps us stand and walk. It is a necessary part to give us balance. The toenails, however, are not that important. People who have lost their toenails have observed that the soft skin underneath hardens and becomes protective. It is a misconception that the toenails are there to protect the soft tissue underneath.
The truth is that the toenails have been left with us by a mistake of evolution. Evolution changes and transforms the body parts that are not used often but though we do not use the toenails it has stayed on with us. The small toe is primarily inactive and the bone size has decreased. The appendix is another example of leftover items from our ancestors that we do not need. Toenails are an adage that will probably become extinct in a distant future, ridding us of the problem of toenail fungus. Until then toenails will accompany us and come handy for minor etching or holding.
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June 10, 2013
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November 17, 2015
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