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The function of human nails

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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The function of human nails

Postby hurly » Mon May 22, 2006 5:36 pm

I want to know why we have nails.
Our nails aren't any sharp and they grow out fast.
Are we supposed to have long unsharp nails? What good does it do?

How about gorillaz, do their nails grow as fast as us too...?
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Postby Ultrashogun » Mon May 22, 2006 10:07 pm

Maybe protection for our fingers when we use tools.
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Postby ThursdayNext » Wed May 24, 2006 1:01 pm

i guess it helps us to grab things better... but ya know some organs in the human body are not useful but they didn't vanish during evolution.
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Postby Ultrashogun » Wed May 24, 2006 8:15 pm

But fingernales are more than just redundant claws, they arent like femor, tibia and fibula of the whale.
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Postby soccersloy » Sun May 28, 2006 4:34 am

i read somewhere that fingernails actually help protect your fingers. If they weren't there the tips of your fingers would get all scratched up. It also seems like they help us the grab hold of things.
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Postby +R@cY » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:25 pm

I think we have fingernails for gripping things, and for protection, like everyone else said. It makes sense. Or maybe our fingernails are there so they can absorb extra nutrients we don't need. Even though that doesn't necessarily make sense. Now, WHAT ABOUT TOENAILS!?!

Hmmm.
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Postby Linn » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:32 am

Ultrashogun wrote:Maybe protection for our fingers when we use tools.


yup
and to put nail polish on
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".

~ George washington Carver
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Postby Doc44 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:42 am

They have no PURPOSE they have a FUNCTION(S).

Doc44

Using the word "purpose" implies, for an example, birds developed wings so they could fly....no...birds fly because they developled wings.
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Postby mith » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:19 pm

excretion too
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
~Niebuhr
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Postby Linn » Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:18 pm

Doc44 wrote:They have no PURPOSE they have a FUNCTION(S).

Doc44

Using the word "purpose" implies, for an example, birds developed wings so they could fly....no...birds fly because they developled wings.


you guys sound like one of my profs :lol: :P
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".

~ George washington Carver
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Postby Doc44 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:21 pm

Linn wrote:
Doc44 wrote:They have no PURPOSE they have a FUNCTION(S).

Doc44

Using the word "purpose" implies, for an example, birds developed wings so they could fly....no...birds fly because they developled wings.


you guys sound like one of my profs :lol: :P


Glad you had a good prof.

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Postby kiekyon » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:28 pm

from evolutionary viewpoint, the limbs of all mammals end in a hardened structure - the hoof or claw. this hard structure serves the protect the limb from excessive wear (as in the hoof), or can be used as a tool for digging or as a weapon for overall protection (as in the claw). This arrangement has proved so useful, that every mammal has these items, or their equivalent, and evolution has acted to eliminate all genetic variation that would prevent their development.

So, evolutionary history has dictated that we must have a "hard thing" at the end of our fingers and toes.

When primates evolved, one of their defining differences was the
transformation of the claw into a nail. some types of less derived primates shave a few claws, but all primates still have a nail-like structure at the end of their fingers and toes). Primates manipulate their environment by grasping things and claws can get in the way of grasping and fine manipulation (same with long fingernails). Because primates tend grasp things (tree limbs, etc.) with both their hand and their feet it was advantageous to transform all of the claws into nails. Nails still provide some of the protective function of claws, but are not as effective as digging tools or weapons (try having a scratching match with your pet cat to verify this).
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