Re: Interdigital Webbing was Re: AAH

Gerrit Hanenburg (
Fri, 28 Jun 1996 17:39:17 GMT

James Borrett <> wrote:

>> If someone showed that the frequency of interdigital webbing
>> was not significantly higher in humans than it is in chimpanzees, AAH
>> would be falsified. I can't think of any other truly unambiguous,
>> ubiquitous characteristic common to all semi-aquatic animals

>Dewi Morgan has just emailed me and says that a study has been done that
>shows a higher frequency of interdigital webbing in chimpanzees than in
>humans. Does anyone have a reference (I've looked on bids but I can't
>find anything) for this? Proof of a higher frequency of webbed feet in
>chimps would definitely, in my opinion, falsify the AAH. I'd also be
>interested to see if this has been done on bonobos as well.

All humans show interdigital webbing to a certain degree,in the sense
that we all have skin stretching out between the fingers.
In my own case approximately halfway the shaft of the proximal phalanx
of the hand.It's simply a consequence of embryologic development of
the digits.(In extreme cases when the mesenchyme between the digits
fails to disappear one gets a syndactyl foot or hand with the toes or
fingers grown together)This is also the case in other hominoids.
So,I would like to know,in what sense do chimpanzees show a higher
degree of interdigital webbing?