23 Dec '11, 2pm

Elephants have 6th 'toe' to give extra support: Study

LONDON (AFP) - A bony growth in elephants' feet is a sixth 'toe' that helps the world's heaviest land mammal keep its balance, scientists said on Friday. The growth protruding from the back of elephant's feet was discovered in the 18th century when a Scottish surgeon dissected one of the creatures for the first time. Researchers had been baffled by the piece of bone but a new study in the United States journal Science claims to have solved the mystery. While not a true toe, the growth has developed the same function as a toe - giving the behemoths much-needed help in supporting their colossal weight as they lumber across African plains and through Asian jungles.

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/TechandScience/S...

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