The writer's interest in this study is a direct outgrowth of his teaching classes in Genetics for many years. Much has been written in the genetic literature about the inheritance of abnormalities in hands and fingers such as brachydactyly, clinodactyly, etc., and yet, relatively little has been done to study the normal occurrence of these inherited variations in the average population. Thus, the purpose of this study is to analyze in an average population sample, such as a college student body, some of the anatomical variations that normally occur in the digits of the hand. The study of these variations is limited to those which can be detected by a study of hand tracings or outlines. The study reveals certain information about the occurrence of tapered fingers, bent fingers, straight fingers, fingers with and without conspicuous joints, etc. Because of the method of collection of data, no information could be obtained about variations such as fingernail structure, absence of thumbnail, short finger tendons, etc., all of which are known to occur genetically. In no way is this an attempt to study the inheritance of the variations, although some information of that nature was obtained in the process of routine questioning. This is merely a study of the frequency of occurrence of specific digital variations in a nonselected group of college students.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1953 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
"A Study of Digital Variations of the Human Hand,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 60(1), 987-699.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol60/iss1/92