Recently, medical scans have discovered that fetuses have what appear to be "lizard-like" muscle development in their hands in the womb.
If you're a reptile-lover, this might seem to be a pretty cool piece of information. But if the scaly little critters give you the creepy-crawlies, not to worry. Babies will lose most of all of the "lizard-like" muscle development in their hands before they're born, according to BBC.
It all goes back to evolution and scientists- as well as biologists- dating these "remnants of our evolutionary history" back as far as 250 million years ago. This is when biologists noted that reptiles transitioned from their reptilian selves to mammals. Biologists are still not sure why human fetuses develop with lizard-like features and then lose them before birth.
It almost doesn't make sense, but one theory is that the step that makes our thumbs dextrous since thumbs require an extra muscle unlike the rest of our fingers. You might have noticed that earlier in the article we mentioned that babies will lose "most" of all the lizard-like muscle development in their hands before birth.
This is because of the fact that there have been cases of both children and adults presenting extra muscles in their fingers and hands but doctors and scientists say that those instances are extremely rare. Furthermore, when biologists looked at the 3D medical scans of the embryos and fetuses at seven to 13 weeks' gestation time, they found that these cases of adults and children presenting with extra hand and finger muscles didn't match up with all of the muscles (scientifically referred to as dorsometacarpales) as the unborn babies in medical scans.
Dr. Rui Diogo from Howard University stated that adults and children with existing dorsometacarpales may help doctors and biologists understand more about babies who are born with limb deformities.
"We have a lot of muscles going to the thumb, very precise thumb movements but we lost a lot of muscles that are going to the other digits," Dr. Diogo said. "These muscles were lost 250 million years ago. "No adult mammal, no rat, no dog has those muscles. It's impressive."
Biologists are currently planning to research other areas of the human form in great detail.
What do you think about this news of lizard-like muscle development in the womb? Cool, interesting or just plain weird? We'd love to hear your thoughts down in the comments!