Business, Finance & Economics

Ape feet found in 1 in 13 people

hot_springs_monkey.jpg

Consumer confidence in the US economy is cold. Or is it hot? Maybe it's both? This Japanese Macaque monkey probably feels the same way right about now.

Credit:

Koichi Kamoshida

About 1 in 13 people have ape-like feet, a new study says. And no, this doesn't explain why some people's toes are more hairy than others.

Rather, the study, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, examines feet flexibility. While most humans have a rigid mid-foot, primates don't, making it easy for the animals to climb trees. Yet it turns out that some humans also have these loose feet, a helpful feature if you're a kid that likes climbing trees for fun. 

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To get the results, researcher Jeremy DeSilva from Boston University and a colleague approached people visiting the Boston Museum of Science. They asked visitors to walk barefoot and then observed their foot structure via a mechanical carpet. They studied 398 people in total. 

When primates lift their heels off the ground, they have a floppy foot because nothing holds together the bones in the middle of their feet. This feature is called a midtarsal break and is similar to what the researchers found in 32 of the 398 study participants, Sky News reported.