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Author Topic: Is it possible to move the toes independently?  (Read 6202 times)

Offline tmarkq

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Is it possible to move the toes independently?
« on: 27/11/2011 15:01:02 »
tmarkq asked the Naked Scientists:
   Is it possible to independently move each toe the same as fingers?  Or have the muscles evolved away?  If possible listeners could all try and get some genes going!!

Keep up the good work thanks I listen all the time Dr. Chris Smith and all!!

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 27/11/2011 15:01:02 by _system »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Is it possible to move the toes independently?
« Reply #1 on: 29/11/2011 17:55:04 »
When you look at the muscles of the foot.

Your big toe generally has independent muscles.

The tendons for all the other toes are interconnected.  The small toe may have both interconnected, as well as independent muscles, but seems to have very little independent control.

There may be some ability to move the big toe independently from the other toes, but the muscles are not configured to allow the other toes to be independently moved.
 

Offline tmarkq

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Is it possible to move the toes independently?
« Reply #2 on: 29/11/2011 19:48:54 »
Oh thanks for the information. I wonder if the toes started out being able to move independantly then just evolved away as not being taking advantage off. Maybe 500,000 years ago they could of learned to!!!!
 

Offline CliffordK

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Is it possible to move the toes independently?
« Reply #3 on: 29/11/2011 20:23:26 »
Search the web for:

"toe muscles netter"  (or foot muscles netter).

And, you will find some excellent drawings of the muscles of the foot.

To answer your historical question, one would have to look at the feet of other animals with toes or claws, and look at their musculature. 

Primates, apes, monkeys, lemurs.
Many animals such as cats, dogs, and bears have claws, but I assume they are managed together.
What about animals like racoons that have dexterous hands.
Why are squirrels such good tree climbers?

There are some pretty extraordinary similarities between the bones of the feet and those of the hands in humans.

There are even some interesting similarities between the bones of say the human hand and arm, and the horse front legs.
 

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Is it possible to move the toes independently?
« Reply #3 on: 29/11/2011 20:23:26 »

 

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