biology zoology blog benno meyer Useless organs

Useless Organs

But are they there for a reason?

One of my earlier blogs dealt with organs that were absent in some organisms even though we would have expected them to be present: take the absence of red blood in some fish or the lack of lungs in some salamanders. This blog is about organs termed ‘useless’ and I was thinking of them in my dentist’s chair, while he was giving one of my wisdom teeth a root canal treatment. Wisdom teeth in humans are sometimes called useless, because the relatively small jaw of humans no longer has the space for the wisdom teeth (is one opinion). But in my case, all 4 wisdom teeth are in good shape and I use them. Another human organ often referred to as useless is the appendix and we can certainly survive without it very well. Some people would include the foreskin of us males. But useless? The appendix is thought to have a function as a reservoir for good gut bacteria and the foreskin is a protective cover. Therefore, both cannot be deemed to be totally useless. However, I’d say the nipples on the chest of boys and men are indeed “useless”, not possessing any particular function that I can imagine. —>—>