Toes are something we seldom think about, but why do we have them?
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The pectoral fin of Panderichthys and the origin of digits
“Early hypotheses interpreted digits as derivatives of fin radials, but during the 1990s the idea gained acceptance that digits are evolutionary novelties without direct equivalents in fish fin skeletons.”
Walking, running and the evolution of short toes in humans
“The phalangeal portion of the forefoot is extremely short relative to body mass in humans. This derived pedal proportion is thought to have evolved in the context of committed bipedalism, but the benefits of shorter toes for walking and/or running have not been tested previously.
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