“Going back in time this wrinkling of our fingers in wet conditions could have helped with gathering food from wet vegetation or streams. And as we see the effect in our toes too, this may have been an advantage as it may have meant our ancestors were able to get a better footing in the rain,” Smulders said.
To test this theory, researchers asked 20 participants to move 45 wet or dry objects with wrinkly or normal fingers.
Transferring dry objects with either wrinkly or normal fingers resulted in the fastest completion times, while transferring wet objects took 17 percent more time. Transferring wet objects with wrinkled fingers took 12 percent less time than with normal fingers.
Having wrinkly fingers improved the grip on wet objects, but made no difference when handling dry objects.
Smulders says, “This raises the question of why we don’t have permanently wrinkled fingers and we’d like to examine this further. Our initial thoughts are that this could diminish the sensitivity in our fingertips or could increase the risk of damage through catching on objects.”
Hope you enjoyed Wed.(Hump-day’s) post