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All the News That’s Fit: Baby talk, vaccine disruption and residual characteristics

Five vestigial features of the human body:

1. Palmar grasp reflex, a grasping reflex seen in unborn children and newborns, possibly an evolutionary trait intended to help infants cling to their mothers.

2. Tails. During the first six weeks of gestation, the human embryo has a tail, supplemented by several vertebrae. At birth, the tail is gone and the vertebrae have fused together to form the coccyx or coccyx.

3. Wisdom teeth, which were useful in early hominids who needed to grind hard foods. Modern humans have smaller jaws and eat softer foods, making wisdom teeth unnecessary and often problematic.

4. In other animals, the nictitating membrane is a fold of tissue in the inner corner of the eye that serves as a sort of third eyelid, providing protection and cleansing. In some species it may even cover the whole eye, but it is transparent enough for vision. In humans, it’s just a bit of extra tissue where “sleep” is deposited.

5. The auricular muscles control the auricle or visible part of the outer ear. In other mammals, they are used to move the pinna to better focus on incoming sounds or as a means of expression. In humans, they are mostly useless, although some people retain the ability to wiggle their ears.

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