What is the evolutionary purpose of toenails, if any?
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Evolution does not produce useless things. But it can remove obstacles. Primates do not need claws. It’s a hindrance to advanced things that we can do with our hands and walk straight. Having smaller claws was an advantage, so smaller claws were chosen. Small claws become fingernails and toenails. Once I got small, there was no evolutionary pressure to get smaller. So they stuck with it. iguana
I’d bet they originally had claws, probably used to climb trees rather than rooting out animals on the plains. My sister has large, fast growing nails that she refers to as a “velociraptor nail” – a disturbing picture.
They are protective too. If you’ve been missing one of your toenails, especially the big toenail, for a while and then drop something on your unprotected sensitive toe, you’ll realize after yelling that the toenail is still handy! Thomas 1178
They were useful for clinging to our mother’s fur when that was still a thing. Dan Mulholland
To keep your toes from fraying. Laurel
If you keep your nails sharp enough normally or naturally, you can scratch your opposite leg and foot in bed. By holding five nails of different lengths, you can adjust the nail according to the intensity of the itch, thus getting satisfaction without moving around too much. Ibanez
For exactly the same reasons as fingernails: finger guards and the occasional pistol in a quilt fight… kglowe
Toenails act as shock absorbers for your toes. Consider the force exerted on the bottom of your toes as you run. This force has to go somewhere – and move up. If you only have soft tissue on the tips of your toes, you will mainly suffer from soft tissue and pulp obstruction. Toenails, being incredibly tough, act as a covering to keep all that soft tissue in place. I had an uncomfortable experience playing hockey which made me realize the purpose of nails – fingernails in this case. I was badly hit in the side of one of my fingers with a hard bullet – the other side of my finger suffered a slight “burst” of the force of the blow. If I had hit the soft part of my finger, my toenail would have stopped me. Lilivanelli
So you can paint it colorful in the summer. MORNEX 74
They are delicious and add fiber to the diet. Mr. Cassandra
Since we began as small, mouse-like creatures about 60 million years ago, they have been used to dig, scratch fleas, and fight. Fast forward, and a lot of this is still true. Although half the feet of this ancient creature are now our hands. We didn’t lose our nails as they still protect our toes from minor injuries. Our toes are small sausages made of fatty tissue around a small bone. The nail bears more cushion under the bone to improve grip (when running or climbing barefoot) and aid with tactile sensitivity. But we are also social beings, and as such we have embellished our bodies to impress others; This appears to be the main use of these 10 keratin-containing plates today. At least for many, if they are not hidden in shoes. Alan Bailey, retired podiatrist, Sheffield
Only a nation enslaved by shoemakers must wonder how practical toenails can be. How long has it been since you sustained a blow to your toe? Toenails are not invisible to barefoot kids who run with disappointment. Peter Ormond
Giving the human race something higher to think about than Kim Kardashian. Styggron
Because we’ve learned that staying on top is more civilized than fighting your way to the top. RB Orlando, Westmount, Canada
There is no delete button in Evolution… just an eraser. It works very slowly. Green eggs and spam
Google Scholar identified a sheet of photos of a person who was born without nails. At age 15, the condition description includes:
“> Anonychia (absence of nails) is a very rare congenital or acquired anomaly. It can appear as a single feature or as part of a syndrome. Asymmetric unknowns have been reported in partial or complete form. Simple Anonychia is a congenital absence of nails without coexisting with other major congenital anomalies. It is extremely rare. It is caused by a frameshift and non-reserved missense mutation in exon 2 of the R-spondin 4 gene on chromosome 20p13 that affects the first furin-like cysteine-rich domain that plays a critical role in nail formation, resulting in lack of nails.
“The treatment remains clever idle or artificial nails.”
Missing toenails limit normal movement. Unreserved username
The purpose of toenails is to rip your socks off. Kristen Friel
If it’s mainly for protection, why aren’t there scales on other parts of the body – you could say it’s actually a weak point because they can peel off. It seems to me that the fingernail basically serves as a substrate for the gripping surface of the opposite side of the finger, giving you the ability to pick up and pick up very small objects. Our ancestors would have had more realistic toes than we do, and our toenails were probably an evolutionary hangover when we used our feet differently (hence our little fingernails are now fancy), but they probably serve a useful purpose by strengthening the leading edge of our feet and allowing For our fingers to grasp things. Paolo 777
“What is the evolutionary purpose of the toenail, if any?” Rules still matter, besides toenails… Maribo
The purpose of toenails is to give us back pain when cut. lazy