From Flat Foot to Fat Foot: Structure, Ontogeny, Function, and Evolution of Elephant “Sixth Toes”

@article{Hutchinson2011FromFF,
  title={From Flat Foot to Fat Foot: Structure, Ontogeny, Function, and Evolution of Elephant “Sixth Toes”},
  author={John R. Hutchinson and Cyrille Delmer and Charlotte E Miller and Thomas B. Hildebrandt and Andrew A. Pitsillides and Alan Boyde},
  journal={Science},
  year={2011},
  volume={334},
  pages={1699 - 1703}
}
Elephants have an extra bone in their feet that can be traced through their fossil record to reveal a transition from flat to raised feet. Several groups of tetrapods have expanded sesamoid (small, tendon-anchoring) bones into digit-like structures (“predigits”), such as pandas’ “thumbs.” Elephants similarly have expanded structures in the fat pads of their fore- and hindfeet, but for three centuries these have been overlooked as mere cartilaginous curiosities. We show that these are indeed… Expand
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