Useless Body Parts

Interesting article on body parts we could live without…

In the first chapter of The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin identified roughly a dozen anatomic traits that he gleefully described as “useless, or nearly useless, and consequently no longer subject to natural selection.”

[Examples include…]

VOMERONASAL ORGAN
A tiny pit on each side of the septum is lined with nonfunctioning chemoreceptors. They may be all that remains of a once extensive pheromone-detecting ability.

EXTRINSIC EAR MUSCLES
This trio of muscles most likely made it possible for prehominids to move their ears independently of their heads, as rabbits and dogs do. We still have them, which is why most people can learn to wiggle their ears.

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About Kevin

Kevin Jarnot is a technologist who lives just South of Boston, MA. He is currently employed as Chief Technology Officer at Micronotes, an AI-driven conversation-marketing company based in Boston, MA.
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