• Question: why do we have toe's ?

    Asked by fayeadamou to Cat, Daz, Holly, Johnson, Pamela on 19 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by ellieheron.
    • Photo: Darren Braddick

      Darren Braddick answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi fayeadamou!

      Well I could hack wikipedia for answers but I’m going to guess; if you look at the species we are quite close to, like monkeys, apes and so on, they use their toes for important roles. It doesn’t seem so in humans, but they aid our balance and may therefore help us to walk and run. This was once essential for hunting for food and escaping from predators.

      In monkeys and similar primates, their feet can operate a bit like their (and our) hands, and be used to manipulate things and grasp – this aids hunting, feeding, climbing and other movement.

      We have toes because our ancestors did, but I suppose we probably don’t need them as much as we used to. In fact given that we can now replace toes and even whole legs with prosthetic limbs (for example in seriously injured people who lose their legs), walking and movement can be replaced and function similarly to normal!

      I hope that answers your question 🙂


    • Photo: Johnson Soronnadi

      Johnson Soronnadi answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi Fayeadamuo,
      This a good questions. I think it got to do with human evolution and adaptation so as to survive in their environment.

      We have toes because we inherited from our parents. Based on the theory of evolution, life originated from the water. Maybe first life was webbed-toes. As they migrated to land they adapted features that enabled them to survive on their new environment. There evolved legs ,toes, feet, hands and other different parts of the body that enabled man to survive, feed, defend, run and explore the earth (survival of the fittest). As man fully evolved it became part of their gene and since been transferred from generation to generation.
      I think the answer helps?

    • Photo: Cat O'Connor

      Cat O'Connor answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi Fayeadamou,

      Daz and Johnson have given you great answers so I don’t need to add much else. Except perhaps, another theory: Perhaps it’s so us girls have more space to put nail varnish on? 😀

      Hehe…okay i’ll stop being silly, Daz and Johnson have given much better answers that me!


    • Photo: Holly Shelton

      Holly Shelton answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Yup those guys have got it covered I reckon. Toes for balance (although I think I coud do with another ten as I’m pretty dizzy at times!! 🙂

    • Photo: Pamela Lithgow

      Pamela Lithgow answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      Wow some great answers there. I also vote that toes are for balance.
      Also as Darren said it might be partly because our ancestors had them. Toes don’t really get in the way and they might help us a bit so that is part of the reason we haven’t evolved to not have them, whereas something like a tail (which our ancestors did have) might get in the way or injured so we evolved not to have it.
      I hope that adds something to the answers of the others.
      Pam 🙂