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Study finds that 1 in 13 people have chimp-like feet

Courtesy: William Warby

Courtesy: William Warby


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, May 31, 2013, 5:28 -

A new study in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology says that 1 in 13 people have feet that are adapted for climbing in trees, like chimpanzees.

The average human foot is rigid, while apes have flexible feet that are able to grasp branches as they climb.

Researchers at Boston University filmed the feet of 400 adults as they walked and discovered that about 8% of the participants had "some mid-foot flexibility", which may make walking less efficient.

A "chimp-like" foot has softer ligaments that allow it to bend at the ball, as well as halfway between the heel and the ball.

It's believed these flexible feet are a relic from humanity's tree-dwelling days.

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