Elephant’s extra “toe”: Another “vestigial organ” bites the dust – in this case, literally
|January 26, 2012||Posted by News under Darwinism, Design inference, News|
In “Elephant’s sixth ‘toe’ discovered” (BBC News, December 22,2011) Rebecca Morelle reports,
For more than 300 years, the structure has puzzled researchers, but this study suggests that it helps to support elephants’ colossal weight.
Fossils reveal that this “pre-digit” evolved about 40 million years ago, at a point when early elephants became larger and more land-based.
But it is actually inside the foot.
Many people, he said, thought that the structure was a huge lump of cartilage, and over the years its purpose or lack of purpose has been debated.
It is actually a bone and it helps the elephant stand up.
When the final tally of vestigial organs is done, if ever, one wonders how few there will turn out to be.
See also: They knew the human appendix did a job sixty years ago, actually (but it was too good an a=example of a “vestigial organ” to pass up, even so)