Family Treasures: A Study of the Inheritance of Normal Characteristics in Man

By David D. Whitney | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
THE FEET

Uses.--The feet are very important parts of our bodies, but, if they do not trouble us, we are inclined either to ignore them or else to regard them merely as a means of displaying the latest styles in shoes. Their chief functions seem to be the support of the body and locomotion; but man has found many other uses for them, such as treading grapes in wine making, regulating the flow of gas in an automobile, keeping time to music, and kicking field goals!

Arches.--The feet are so constructed that only the ball, the outer side, and heel of the foot strike the substratum. This leaves an arched portion of the foot between the two ends. In some individuals the arches are exceedingly high (Fig. 164), and this height seems to be inherited; in others there may be no arch, the whole foot being flat and touching the substratum on the whole lower surface. Flat feet may appear at birth and are inherited as a dominant trait (Fig. 165 A-B). It is a well known fact, of course, that flat feet may be produced later in the life of an individual by various environmental influences.

Size.--The length and width of feet vary considerably, as every person who has ever inspected the stock of a shoe store knows. There seem to be all possible combinations of lengths and widths of shoes to fit feet of various sizes and shapes. The extreme types of feet seem to be inherited, as is shown in Fig. 166, in which one parent has long narrow feet and the other has short wide feet. One of their sons has the mother's wide, short type of feet, and the other son has the long, narrow feet of the father. In another family (Fig. 167) the father wore a shoe size eight-D, whereas both

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Family Treasures: A Study of the Inheritance of Normal Characteristics in Man
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Contents 3
  • Preface 5
  • Chapter I- The Family 9
  • Chapter II- The Individual 30
  • Chapter III- Hair 48
  • Chapter IV- The Eyes 82
  • Chapter V- The Mouth 94
  • Chapter VI - The Ears 110
  • Chapter VII- The Nose, Cheeks, Chin, and Jaws 126
  • Chapter IX- The Feet 172
  • Chapter X- The Body 186
  • Chapter XI- Temperaments and Special Abilities 203
  • Chapter XII- Good Health 228
  • Chapter XIII- Birthmarks, Acquired Characters, and Disease 239
  • Chapter XIV- Sex 256
  • Chapter XV- Nature of Man 267
  • Glossary of Terms Commonly Used in the Study of Heredity in Man 288
  • Index 295
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