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Why do we Have Fingernails and Toenails

March 2nd, 2009

fingernail

Why do we Have Fingernails and Toenails?

We know most of the functions our different body parts serve.  We have eyes to see things, nose to smell things, tongue to taste food, and many more.  But when it comes to our fingernails and toenails, we really don’t have much idea on why they’re there.  Is it just there so that we can make color it with nail polish and make them look good?  Or do they serve a more important purpose?

Well, there are many theories about the reason behind having fingernails and toenails.  One explanation is related to human evolution, where our nails were simply “leftovers” in the course of evolution.  Our nails are the equivalents to the claws, hooves, or talons of other animals.  For animals, they help in gripping objects, climbing trees, catching prey, and many other important functions.  Human nails also perform vital functions in day to day life.

Another theory on the purpose of fingernails and toenails is that is helps protect the sensitive and delicate nail bed.  However, not many doctors agree with this theory, because they have seen cases wherein people who have no nails develop even tougher and stronger nail beds.  It is more plausible to assume that our nail beds became delicate as a result to the protection being offered by our nails, rather than the other way around.

The most likely theory when it comes to the reason behind fingernails and toenails is that is simply is useful!  It aids humans in their everyday lives.  Having fingernails help us to open things, peel fruit, untie knots, grip objects, scratch ourselves, and a whole lot of other important functions.

For people who use their feet instead of hands, the toenails serve even a greater purpose.  They help open important food items, grip things, and many more.  This makes individuals with no hands capable in doing everyday things just like any other person would do.

If you’re still not convinced that fingernails and toenails play an important role, try trimming your nails really short.  You’ll see that you’ll have a difficulty scratching an itch, or cleaning your scalp and hair during shampooing.  You’ll also have a hard time peeling an orange and other food items, or untying knots.

Truly, fingernails and toenails serve an important function in our body, and is not to be treated as a mere “decoration.”  It should also be properly cared for, to keep it healthy and strong.

  1. Erwin
    March 3rd, 2009 at 08:30 | #1

    Nail can be used in other ways also. Human females use nails to attract males and as a weapon afterwords.In aggression as well as defence they use it very effectively.

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