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Ape feet found in 1 in 13 people

Ape-like flexible feet are found in some people, a stark contrast to the rigid feet that most people have.
Clone of Hot springs monkeyEnlarge
A Japanese Macaque monkey in the cold. (Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

About 1 in 13 people have ape-like feet, a new study says. And no, this doesn't explain why some people's toes are more hairy than others.

Rather, the study, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, examines feet flexibility. While most humans have a rigid mid-foot, primates don't, making it easy for the animals to climb trees. Yet it turns out that some humans also have these loose feet, a helpful feature if you're a kid that likes climbing trees for fun. 

More from GlobalPost: Early humans ate more like chimps than people, says new study

To get the results, researcher Jeremy DeSilva from Boston University and a colleague approached people visiting the Boston Museum of Science. They asked visitors to walk barefoot and then observed their foot structure via a mechanical carpet. They studied 398 people in total. 

When primates lift their heels off the ground, they have a floppy foot because nothing holds together the bones in the middle of their feet. This feature is called a midtarsal break and is similar to what the researchers found in 32 of the 398 study participants, Sky News reported.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/ape-feet-found-1-13-people