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Curious Congenital Anomalies: Polydactyl and Syndactyl Humans and Cats

Author:

Nell is a trained psychologist who writes about personal health problems. She is also fascinated by strange medical anomalies.

The way polydactyly presents itself can vary in both fingers and toes.

The way polydactyly presents itself can vary in both fingers and toes.

Strange genetic anomalies in humans have always appeared around the world. Some popular and familiar examples include conjoined twins, extremely tall people and unusually small people. The two anomalies that have always fascinated me are polydactyly and syndactyly. Both of these conditions are characterized by congenital defects of the fingers and toes and are present in humans as well as animals. Polydactyly causes extra digits to form on the hands or feet, while syndactyly results in the fusing or webbing of the digits.

I first began to take notice of polydactyly while I was reading a novel about Anne Boleyn. It is believed that she had one extra digit on her right hand. It has been said that after she was beheaded, the executioner reached down and secretly chopped off her hand before hiding it inside of his own clothing. After she was taken away for burial, the hand was supposedly hidden and later used for magical purposes. Admittedly, this story probably originates from myths and legends. After an exhumation of Anne Boleyn in 1876, it was discovered that her whole body was perfectly shaped, and her hands were devoid of any extra digits.

Possible Causes of the Conditions

Both polydactyly and syndactyly are known to be caused by errors during fetal development. The diseases are usually inherited, but can be caused by other factors. In the case of syndactyly, while the baby is in the womb, webbed skin between the toes and fingers is supposed to wither away so that digits can form. Occasionally, this does not happen, and syndactyly is the result. These conditions are not widespread problems and normally run in certain families. I have a couple of webbed toes and so did my mother. I like to be different! Most of these traits are isolated and are caused by an autosomal gene. This means they are not sex-linked, so either your mother or father could carry it.

Syndactyly can vary in severity from a small amount of skin being webbed, to the affected toes being fused all the way to the top. Sometimes, the webbing is fused by not only the skin, but also by bone. Syndactyly can be a side effect of cardiac problems when the child is born.

Polydactyly in the News

The most common area for the extra finger to appear is on the side of the hand next to the pinky. The extra digit is not always a real-looking finger. Sometimes, it is just a small, thin piece of skin tissue with a fingernail attached. This extra tissue is not always fully functional, and it may just be one of several extra fingers. Some of these fingers can appear to be either fused all the way up the side of the other nearest finger or just partially fused. One of the most extreme documented cases of polydactyly appeared in March of 2010. Fox News reported that a 6-year-old boy from China was born with 5 extra fingers and 6 extra toes—amounting to 31 fingers and toes altogether. The unnamed child had an operation to remove the extra digits.

Extra fingers as a result of polydactyly.

Extra fingers as a result of polydactyly.

Polydactyly: A Multi-Symptom Disease

Cases of polydactyly are usually isolated events, though sometimes their origins turn out to be a bit more complicated. Polydactyly can be caused by other abnormalities that occur when a baby is born with more serious mental or physical defects. The most common causes stem from medicines that were ingested by the mother while she was pregnant, or from toxins in the environment that adversely affected the fetus.

Polydactyly can be symptomatic of one the following more serious diseases:

  1. Ellis-Van Creveld syndrome (also known as chondroectodermal dysplasia) is an inherited condition caused by defects in two genes known as EVC and EVC2. The strange thing about this disease, is that it is mainly seen within the Old Order Amish population of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
  2. Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome is a rare condition resulting in a defect of a gene that leads to an issue with the binding process of a protein called CREB. The subsequent condition is known as CREBBP. Some people with this ailment are actually born without the defective gene. Anybody born with CREBBP displays the following symptoms: broad thumbs and toes, shortness in stature, distinctive facial features and mental problems.
  3. Trisomy 13 is another disease that can cause polydactyly. It occurs when a person's body has three copies of a specific genetic material instead of the usual two from chromosome 13. This is not an inherited disease, and it usually occurs during fetal development in the womb. The DNA from chromosome 13 appears in other parts of the body, causing the extra material to interfere with normal development.
Polydactyl cats have a size advantage in the paw category.

Polydactyl cats have a size advantage in the paw category.

Polydactyl and Syndactyl Cats

For some strange reason, both polydactyly and syndactyly have been observed in cats. The greatest number of toes reportedly found on a cat was 32 back in 1974! The male cat, 'Mickey Mouse', was owned by a Mrs Renee Delgade of Westlake Village, California. Mickey Mouse was believed to have double paws which means each paw formed two fused mirror images.

Obviously, a polydactyl cat has many digits, and a syndactyl cat has less digits (because they are fused together). Evidently, there is a breed called a Maine Coon that is bred to carry on having polydactyl cats!

Antonio Alfonseca putting his extra digits to work!

Antonio Alfonseca putting his extra digits to work!

Famous People With Polydactyly

Gemma Arterton

Gemma Arterton, who plays Agent Fields in the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, was quoted saying of polydactyly that, 'It's my little oddity, people are really interested, but repulsed at the same time, but I am proud of it'.

She goes on to say, 'My dad had them, and my grandad. I feel we are one step ahead, a sign of things to come', she joked, 'We could do more stuff if we had extra fingers—faster texting, faster e-mailing and better guitar playing'. She also added that she had been born with a number of deformities, including a crumpled ear.

Antonio Alfonseca

Antonio Alfonseca is a Major League Baseball (MLB) relief pitcher for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Alfonseca also pitched in MLB for the Philadelphia Phillies. He has an extra digit on each hand and foot.

Marilyn Monroe

I couldn't conclude this topic without mentioning the most well-known case of polydactyly. For many years, people believed that Marilyn Monroe was polydactyl and had six toes on one of her feet. However, it is now thought that this was just a myth caused by a trick of the light in a photo taken by Joseph Jasgur in March 1946. Since there has been no evidence to the contrary, the story of Marilyn's extra toe has been classified as a myth and legend.

Marilyn's infamous "extra" toe (a trick of the light).

Marilyn's infamous "extra" toe (a trick of the light).

Sources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2010 Nell Rose

Comments

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 22, 2019:

Thanks Tim, always good to see you.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on April 21, 2019:

Excellent article, Nell. I enjoyed reading it. I've worked with a lady who had extra fingers and she was the kindest of people. You provide great information here, and it was interesting reading. Respectfully, Tim

Nell Rose (author) from England on December 11, 2015:

Sorry to hear that Yurio, I am sure it doesn't even show very much, and never ever be ashamed of yourself, you are unique, and what a great talking point! see it as a positive thing, okay? thanks for reading, nell

Yuri05 on December 11, 2015:

I have syndactyly on both of my feet and am deeply ashamed of them to the point i will never, ever take my socks off when people are around, including my family and friends. I wish I had normal looking feet and have thought of having them fixed in the past, but eventually decided it was not worth the effort and the money.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 19, 2015:

Thanks mrjinx, yes you could have a point, its not something I thought of but now you got the interest going! lol! I am going to take a look round the web, thanks for reading, nell

mrjinx on April 19, 2015:

If u take a closer look at the photos that you can find on the internet about Marilyn Monroe, you will notice something strange in them; it almost seems like she did not want to show the fingers and toes on her hands and feet as they are almost always hidden from view either because she is clenching her fist or wearing shoes, or because these are partially obstructed by the pose she had on those images. Perhaps it's my imagination, but when you explode those images at the hand/feet area, it looks like she might have had extra fingers on her hands just by looking at the anatomy of her hand (a bigger hand, and increased distance or space between knuckles to accommodate for more fingers, for example). I am not accusing or making fun of anyone; I'm just making an observation about something i heard and just wanted to note what i found.

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 07, 2014:

That's okay gina, I understand now, I am sure Harry has probably forgotten that he commented on here. I hope you find what you are looking for, and the docs are pretty good at understanding it these days, nell

gina on September 06, 2014:

My apologies, I was referring to Harry's post: extra wide big toes with parallel bones and gap that looks like two nails. Has anyone seen or heard of this? I am driving myself crazy. Thanks, new mom

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 06, 2014:

Hi Harry, I didn't have a baby with it, but knew someone who did. evidently the doctors told her that it was fine, just an anomaly and the baby could have the extra couple of toes, outside ones removed when she was older, congrats on your new baby! that's wonderful, thanks for reading, nell

Harry on September 06, 2014:

I just had a baby two days and it was born with the exact same toes you describe. Your post is two years old but have you learned anything more about your babies toes ?

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 26, 2013:

That's fascinating Shaylene! I have the webbed toes just like my mother, she always said we would be good swimmers! lol! Its amazing just how many people do have polydactyly and syndactyly I am sure it was probably quite common in the past and of course nobody could do anything about it, thanks for reading, nell

Shaylene2121@yahoo.com on September 25, 2013:

I have polydactlt and syndactyly I have some webbed fingers, extra toe on my big toe and had extra (tags) fingers. My mom had full webbed fingers and middle toes webbed and both my daughters have extra fingers and toes on both hands And my baby has webbed fingers. It's on the seventh chromosome on the seventh gene. My family was in a study and there's a medical book. Went to Shriners hospital for surgery. I also had a polydactly cat.

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 02, 2013:

HI drpastor, thanks for reading, and yes I will be over shortly, great to see you!

Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on May 01, 2013:

Hey Nell Rose long time no see! lol.. Very interesting Hub! Very nice! I voted-up. I have been busy Counseling but I am back! Come visit me when you have some time. God Bless you!!

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 14, 2013:

Thanks so much Lesley, it is a strange but fascinating anomaly isn't it? thanks for reading, nell

Hi dingy, that sounds interesting, amazing isn't it how we can get these anomalies, glad you liked it, nell

Carolyn from Northamptonshire on April 13, 2013:

I have just remembered as a child I knew someone with an extra knucle in both hands but no adjoined fingers

Lesleysherwood on April 13, 2013:

I did not know this condition existed to this degree. I always thought it was tiny growths, not whole fingers and toes. Wow, thank you for doing all this research, brilliant hub.

Educateurself on March 30, 2013:

Wow I haven't seen this before. Thanks for sharing.

Nell Rose (author) from England on December 20, 2012:

Hi Cathy, they thought she had but she didn't in the end, but yes its fascinating isn't it? thanks!

Ms. Immortal from NJ on December 20, 2012:

Another great hub!

Who would have thought Marilyn Monroe had a sixth toe. I had a child hood friend with six toes. Now I know it's called Polydactyly and more common than I thought.

Voted up and shared.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 28, 2012:

Thanks kitschpainter, I will go and change it when I have time, thanks so much for pointing it out. Is your son going to have them removed or are they no trouble? thanks nell

kitschpainter on August 28, 2012:

Hi Nell - I've always been interested in this subject since my son was born with vestigal extra digits....but I do want to point out that one of your images (which I've seen in other places) is not real but photographically manipulated. The ones of the babies and the cats are legit, but the adult male hand (2978145_f520.jpg) is not. If you look carefully you can see the shadow at the base of the ring finger(s) are identical, and there is a slight break in the contour of the hand on the right side.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 20, 2012:

Hi valerie, yes I totally understand that the shoes hurt her, I am glad you are getting her toe removed she will be so much more comfortable. I have funny feet, lol! my toes are webbed and my big toes are bent at a rather strange angle so I have trouble wearing high heels for example. Thank you so much for your comment, its great to get such wonderful feedback on an article that I have written, good luck and take care, nell

valerie on August 20, 2012:

my little girl was born with a xtra lil toe she is 5 and will go under surgeries this year to get it removed i had her at a young age and went with wht the first doctor told me she fine she doesn't need it removed but she at the point were all shoes hurt her and her foot also got wider but just waiting on thr ok to get her toe removed and well reading all of this helped me learn some more about Polydactyly so thank u very much :)

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 31, 2012:

Hi clover, Wow! toes? bless her! lol! yes people can have extra digits too, and of course webbed feet like me! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on May 31, 2012:

Very interesting. I knew cats could be "double pawed", but I never realized people could have extra digits. I found this while looking for info on my kitty. She has 24 toes in all, and I knew that was "odd". Thanks for all the great info.

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 27, 2012:

Hi Harry, thanks for reading. I would imagine it is under the same heading as the above article. I think whenever anyone gets added toes or fingers it probably is caused by the same sort of genetic abnormality, but I am not sure, maybe look through the lists on google or just write in the search engine part of the paragraph you have written, you will probably find it that way, good luck and thanks!

Harry on May 27, 2012:

Hi! Our baby on each foot has extra wide big toes that although look normal, in the inside have two sets of bones in parallel. Also each big toe nail has a gap in the middle, and looks like it's two nails on the same toe! You can also feel two bones by touching the tip of the toes. Anyone know what this is called and where I can read about it?

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 20, 2012:

Ooops! lol! thanks Chris!

Chris on April 19, 2012:

Don't think Anne Boleyn was five inches, three feet tall! HA!

Nell Rose (author) from England on February 25, 2012:

Hi, cynthia, thanks for reading about polydactyly, that is really interesting, thanks for sharing, nell

cynthia peters on February 24, 2012:

I was born with 6 fingers a double thumb on each hane the other thumb had no nail on it. I had 6 toes on each foot and webbing in between thumb and index finger and webbing between four toes on feet cynthiahabina@gmail.com

Nell Rose (author) from England on December 10, 2011:

Hi, Sandy, glad it helped, and thanks for replying, nell

Sandy on December 09, 2011:

Hi Nell, thanks for your response. It helped!

Nell Rose (author) from England on December 09, 2011:

Hi, Sandy, thanks for commenting, its possible, it does seem to be genetic, I have webbed feet and so did my mum, but my brother hasn't got anything like that, so it seems likely that you new son has inherited it, and congrats on your baby! don't worry about it at all as its perfectly natural, and if it doesn't bother your son then its fine, maybe when he's older if he wants them sorted out it should be fine, thanks again nell

Sandy on December 09, 2011:

My brother (who is in perfect health) has 2 web toes on both feet. Now my son newborn has little nubs next to his pinky on both hands . They are just hanging on by a very thin piece of skin. Could the baby have inherited this from our side of the family?

Nell Rose (author) from England on December 06, 2011:

Hi, hazel, I have webbed toes! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

hazel may on December 06, 2011:

me have both! polydactyl and syndactyl.. maybe i am the only one who have this in the whole wide world. amazing! it was not featured in the article above. am proud of it.

bryan on November 29, 2011:

this is amazing , to see people like this

meha on November 21, 2011:

i wonder how it would feel to have this

Lulu on November 17, 2011:

elo my name is lulu, And i would just like to say hi to everyone! (:

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 19, 2011:

Hi, dingyskipper, Wow fascinating! I shall have to go and search see if I can find them on the internet somewhere, thanks!

Carolyn from Northamptonshire on October 19, 2011:

There are a tribe of people somewhere almost all have extra digits, sorry cant remember where I saw this

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 01, 2011:

Hi, Oh of course! the rats! yes its coming back to me now, and thanks again, I will be over shortly to read your evolution hub, thanks again nell

Baileybear on September 30, 2011:

I've listed a few atavisms (throwbacks - expression of ancient genes) in my hub https://baileybear.hubpages.com/hub/Evolution-Unin...

You wrote a hub on Julia Pastrana - her condition is throwback too

when they wiped out nearly the entire cat population, the rat population exploded, assisting the spread of black plague which wiped out huge chunk of human population

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 30, 2011:

Hi, Baileybear that's amazing, I never realised that we were throwbacks, I have the webbed toes, my feet are actually more than that! lol I have a really bent big toe on each foot that never straightens out! I might have known that witchcraft superstitions wiped out the cats, what a shame. 8 toes on aquatic animals? I shall have to go and check out your links, thanks so much!

Baileybear on September 30, 2011:

early 4-limbed aquatic animals had up to 8 toes on each limb http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydactyly_in_early_...

Baileybear on September 30, 2011:

apparently the extra toes in cats are opposable and some cats can use them to manipulate objects. Any unusual cats were destroyed in medieval europe because of witchcraft superstitions

http://www.messybeast.com/poly-cats.html

Baileybear on September 30, 2011:

humans are animals, so both. Early ancestor fossils had 8 digits & during evolution lost some digits. Polydactyl is a throw-back, much like human tails

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 29, 2011:

Hi, Baileybear, is that humans or animals? amazing isn't it? thanks for the info, nell

Baileybear on September 29, 2011:

I just read in that early fossils had 8 digits, not 5

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 26, 2011:

Hi, lumarie, thanks for reading, I have webbed toes and my mum used to say I would be a good swimmer! lol

lumarie from Puerto Rico on September 26, 2011:

Very interting never red anyone write about this. My toes, the two in the middle, are like Astons but more skin. I don't know anyone in the family who has them. My pops used to say that's why I ran fast.

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 23, 2011:

Hi, Silver Fish, glad you liked it, and thanks for reading!

Hi, Baileybear, yes, must be really uncomfortable! thanks so much nell

Hi, tillsontitan, yes your right! he probably did, and many other showmen like him too, thanks again, nell

Hi, kitty, yes it wouldn't be as noticeable, I expect a lot of countries still have this problem but the people can't get medical help for it, thanks

Hi, DzyM, I think the cats are gorgeous! even if they had ten feet! ha ha thanks again nell

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on September 23, 2011:

Very well researched, indeed! Great job. I have heard of and seen polydactyl kitties. They are just as sweet as any other cat. (Can you tell I love cats?) ;-)

I've never personally known anyone with either condition.

Very interesting--voted up!

Kitty Fields from Summerland on September 23, 2011:

Voted up and interesting, Nell. Wow...didn't know this existed in such a wide array. Though, admittedly, the 6 digits per hand aren't as noticeable if they're all formed correctly in conjunction with the other fingers.

Mary Craig from New York on September 23, 2011:

I bet PT Barnum looked for these people! Interesting subject. Voted up.

Baileybear on September 23, 2011:

wow 8 toes on each foot

Silver Fish from Edinburgh Scotland on September 23, 2011:

Wow how interesting- great hub.

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 20, 2011:

Hi, Dusty, that's a fascinating story! wow! and I thought my family were unique with my mum and me having webbed feet and hands! lol it would be good to see if you can trace your family tree to find the original person who started all this, I would imagine its because the births should have been twins maybe, but got drawn together in the womb, and one somehow disappears, maybe you should look into, thanks for reading, cheers nell

Dusty44 on September 19, 2011:

Very interesting to read your piece on this. I think myself and my family are probably quite unique as to the amount of us who are effected with polydactyly. Myself, I was born the youngest of 3 children and I was born with six toes on each foot and also have a very broad thumb and webbed toes also. My two older sisters did not have any extra digits. I have 3 children and the eldest had 12 fingers and 12 toes, the middle one had 12 toes and the youngest had 12 fingers and 12 toes. The younger two also have very broad thumbs and one has had operations to stop the bones growing on one side of the branch. All the extra digits were removed when we were all very young, however my Father was born with 12 toes way back in the days when there was not much in the way of anaesthetics and his parents allowed Doctors to remove only one of his 12 toes, and he went through the rest of his life with 11 toes. Although my sister had no extras herself, 2 of her 3 children, my niece and nephew both had extra digits, and my niece also has 3 children of which I think 2 were born with extra toes and fingers! Quite a lot for the one family I would say. How I would love to actually find out which branch in my family tree this descended from.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 13, 2011:

Hi, Gracie, I have webbed toes too! lol that's what started me off looking! there must be some great Genes working on us! ha ha

GracieLake from Arizona on June 13, 2011:

Great info here! My step son has webbed toes, and while we've researched it a bit, you've added way more background to this puzzle than I was aware of.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 05, 2010:

Hi, mandy, thank you for reading it. I am not sure of the stage that he has got too, but maybe when he is older? it is such a shame that he had all those operations and then fate took a turn, and now they haven't kept to their word. I hope it all works out for you and your son. thank you again nell

mandyxapa333 on July 05, 2010:

It was 5 fingers and 4 thumbs on each hand

mandyxapa333 on July 05, 2010:

My son was born with 5 fingers and 4 thumbs. A very big shock - but I love him soooooooooooo much. He has had many operations - and was doing quite well. But, since we went into witness protection - the care he previously received - and I was promised would continue - has not been forthcoming. Now, as he is too old, any further treatment would not be of any benefit - so does he now suffer in silence?

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 21, 2010:

Hi, Ron, nice to see you, thanks for reading it. I got interested in this when I was watching a TV programme with Gemma Aterton, the bond girl, in it. She started talking about the fact that she was born with it, and straight away I thought, There's another hub! I like anything strange or mysterious, whether in the human world or the psychic. I have to get to the bottom of it, so to speak! thanks again nell

Hi, BeatsMe, thanks for your nice comments, glad you liked it, cheers nell

BeatsMe on May 21, 2010:

I have seen people with this condition but didn't know it has a name. Nice article.

Ron on May 21, 2010:

On your list of latest hubs I saw this one's title and it was just driving me crazy that I could not remember what polydactyly meant. I'm glad I did. This is such a fascinating well-researched article. This topic so well illustrates all the factors genetic and otherwise that influence the body and its development.

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 08, 2010:

Hi, pmccray, this is really interesting, I have never heard of the Heminghway estate. I will have to go and check it out. thanks for the info. and for reading it. Nell

pmccray from Utah on May 08, 2010:

This was very interesting. Aren't the cats on the Hemingway estate Polydactyly and Syndactyly cats? I thought I read that somewhere, and it's why he left his estate to them. There are several generations of the cat living on the site. I truly enjoyed reading this, job well done.

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 06, 2010:

Hi, Kathryn, thanks for reading it. I don't usually add loads of photos but I got carried away a bit this time! lol I am glad you liked it. cheers nell

Kathryn LJ on May 06, 2010:

Facinating hub, a good read, with plenty of photo's which actually added to the hub as opposed to so many others I've read which just seem to stick them in any old how, what ever the subject. I've learnt a lot!

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 01, 2010:

Hi Green Lotus, thanks for reading it, and I am glad you liked it. I did it really because I got fed up with trying to find a decent hairstyle! thanks again nell

Hillary from Atlanta, GA on April 29, 2010:

Interesting hub Nell and well presented. I enjoyed the read and the photos too!

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 29, 2010:

Hi, ralwus, I must have one too! I am also a Gemini! 18th june. 19 blah blah blah lol I had heard of people with too many fingers and toes, but not cats. This taught me something about it too. thanks for reading it. Nell

Hi, CmHypno, Isn't it funny how common it is? I never realised that before. I suppose, as you say, most people have them removed when they are young. Thanks again nell

Hi, Sage, thanks for reading it. I didn't realise that it was so common and normal to have this. Maybe back in the past, people did have an extra finger on each hand. Maybe over the years as we developed as humans, it wasn't necessary any more. one day we may find this out. thanks again nell

Sage Williams on April 29, 2010:

Nice job on this hub, very interesting and well researched. My daughter was born with an extra digit, to the right of her thumb. That was my first introduction to this. I had it surgically removed when she was old enough and when other children became too curious.

Great Job,

Sage

CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on April 29, 2010:

Fascinating Hub, Nell. I had a friend at College who was born with an extra finger on each hand. She had them removed when she was a toddler, but you could still see the scars and where her hand was slightly broader where they had been removed from.

ralwus on April 28, 2010:

Most interesting Nell. You put a lot of work into this one. I have seen cats with extra toes. I have a cloven soul, I'm Gemini.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 25, 2010:

Hi, billY, thanks for reading it, I just got interested after seeing Gemma on Tv, and thought, wow, maybe other people have this, but I didn't realise that cats had it!thanks nell

Hi, Granny, thank you again, I really appreciate it. Nell

Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on April 25, 2010:

Nell, another well written hub. I always find myself coming back. lol

getmyback on April 25, 2010:

You never cease to amaze me

this is what hubs should be

thank you

billY

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 25, 2010:

Hi, Joshua, thanks for the extra info. That is fascinating. I never knew about the Nephilem having 6 fingers and toes. Or the epic of Gilgamesh mentioning it as well. I love these sort of links, and as you say, maybe they are throwbacks to these people. Now I have to go look it up! ha ha you started me on something there! thanks nell

Levi Joshua Kell from Arizona on April 24, 2010:

Hi Nell, Great and interesting hub. The first thing I thought of when I saw the six fingered guy, was the Nephilem (1/2 human, 1/2 'god' hybrids) of Biblical legend; like Goliath and Og, who were said to have 6 fingers and six toes. It would be a trip if some of these folks condition could be a genetic throwback, from ancient times. This has also been mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and you can see that the old gods, and their children had six digits in a lot of Sumerian art. Just an absract thought, I didn't mean to get off the subject. Take care, and thanks a million!

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 23, 2010:

Hi, misty, how sad about Mr Fingers, as I have said above, it never even dawned on me that cats had this as well as humans. I always thought that Anne Boleyn had it, and was quite disappointed that the stories weren't true. thanks nell

Cindy Lawson from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 22, 2010:

A Vet's Nurse I used to work with had a ginger polydactyl cat called "Mr Fingers". Sadly he was run over and killed when only a couple of years old, but he sure was cute. This hub was a great read and I really enjoyed finding out more about people who have this trait, and the photos were amazing.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 22, 2010:

Hi, Dolores, so you have a polydactyl cat? wow, I didn't even know about them until I suddenly got interested in this subject. When I mentioned it to my brother, he said I must be stupid! lol I think I read that somewhere about the Neanderthal toes. Thank goodness mine are not like that then! ha ha but seriously that is really interesting. They used to say that Neanderthals never mixed with other human species but maybe they did. We misunderstood them so much. they used to say that they were backward and not intelligent, but now studies have shown that, not only were they intelligent but also very gentle people. that is why they were wiped out, because they were not aggressive enough to other human species. So the vicious ones won it seems. thanks again nell

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on April 22, 2010:

Nell, I was so disappointed to read that Anne Boleyn did not have those extra fingers, not sure why, but some of those myths are just plain cool. My cat, Banjo, is polydactyl, has an extra toe on each foot. His front feet look like hands. We should have called him mittens.

Oh, and what Pollyanna said up there? I have read that they can tell a Neanderthal skeleton foot because that second toe is so much longer than the great toe.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 22, 2010:

Hi, cameciob, I think most people have funny feet. I don't think anyone is happy with their feet! lol, that is why I always cover mine up! thanks again nell

Hi, Polly, i couldn't tell you if it is normal as my big toes are really bendy! lol I think the next toe is longer because it is usually flatter, maybe? thanks again nell

Pollyannalana from US on April 22, 2010:

Something I find odd is most peoples little toe next to the big one is longer than the big toe. Mine is not and I am so glad, but it is with so many that must be the normal????

cameciob on April 22, 2010:

Hi Nell, what an interesting subject. I may be syndactyly myself as my toes look kinda funny, so does my dads’. I think this is nothing to bother about and if you could put an extra finger or toe to a good cause then would actually be great.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 21, 2010:

Hi, jjmyles, thanks for reading it,I quite agree with you, that's what makes everyone different and special. thank you for stopping by. nell

jjmyles from Pacific Northwest on April 21, 2010:

What an interesting hub! well done. I wasn't aware of oll the causes of these so called imperfections. It is our imperfections that make us so much more interesting.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 21, 2010:

Hi, Pollyannalana, lol that is really funny. Maybe his toes looked like thumbs? I have got funny feet, apart from the web toes, my big toe on each foot bends up like a mountain! I think it was because I did a lot of ballet when I was small, maybe it is just me!! ha ha thanks again nell

Hi, carolina muscle, yes it's funny how many people do have it. it would be interesting to see if they were all related going back hundreds of years. you never know! thanks again nell

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on April 21, 2010:

I had no idea it was as common as it is... interesting!!

Pollyannalana from US on April 20, 2010:

Hi girl, this reminds me of my brother, he was probably in his twenties when for some reason his wife brought up the fact his thumbs looked like big toes and I went to look and although I would never do another soul that way I had to keep going to look and laugh, big toes on your hands! He didn't mind though, probably all his older brothers had put him through the ringer on that one until it was old by now.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 20, 2010:

Hi, Valerie, I am glad that you liked it. Yes they do seem to make mutations into a breed of their own. It is like the manx cat, that lives on the Isle of Man, just of the coast of western England. These cats do not have a tail. They are specifically known to this Island. thanks nell

valeriebelew from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA on April 20, 2010:

Interesting write, Nell, and good to have you back. I rather wondered where you had been. This is an interesting topic for me, since I research different cat breeds quite a bit. I have noticed that many mutations end up being new breed preferences. Perhaps we should learn something from this typical occurance. Thanks for writing this.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 20, 2010:

Hi, Rose, glad you liked it. thank you for reading it. cheers nell

Hi, Audrey, I expect this is quite a common thing, but not many people talk about it. It is just that when people don't have them removed that we know about them. Or in the case of Gemma, above, talking about it on TV. And you are so right, whenever someone has a baby, we always count the fingers and toes first. Thanks again, nell

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on April 20, 2010:

The craziest thing ever - I know someone who had that happen to his little girl. I always say these days - every time someone has a perfect little someone, be it human or in the animal kingdom - what a gift!