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Tonsils are just once upon a time gills

  1. Apr 2, 2004 #1
    I just came upon a story on how our tonsils are just once upon a time gills that came about during evolution. It said that at one time, every land dwelling species came from the water, and that we were one of these species. Have you heard this story?(about the tonsils, not about coming from the sea) Have you heard any other type of phenomena about useless body parts, such as the appendix?

    Paden Roder
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2004 #2

    Janitor

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    I don't remember the source, but someone speculated that the appendix was the vestige of some larger structure that was needed to digest items in the diet of early humans/homonids.

    The uvula, or whatever you call the finger that hangs down at the back of your mouth? Supposedly it triggers nerves to close off the breathing tubes so that the food that is about to drop out of the mouth won't head the wrong way.
     
  4. Apr 3, 2004 #3

    adrenaline

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    Not sure about the tonsils, after all, they are functionally and structurally lymph nodes . Don't know how lymphatic tissue can be a remnant of fish gills, which I believe aid in the fish's respiration (through countercurrent exchange?).


    As for the uvula initiating the cascade that closes the epiglottis over the trachea, I doubt it, since that part of the soft palate (uvula and part of the soft palate) , is resected during sleep apnea surgery, ( a procedure called uvulopalatopharyngeoplasty (UPPP)) and these patients are not aspirating food into their trachea left and right. it does play a role in closing off the nasal cavity when swallowing (so you don't get food, fluids in the back of your nose) so a skillled surgeon who can cut away the right amount of tissue and leaves behind enough to continue that function is a must!
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2004
  5. Apr 3, 2004 #4

    Moonbear

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    Not sure about tonsils, but the appendix is homologous to the cecum in other animals. The cecum aids in digestion of fibrous plants. It's pretty large in rodents and horses, for example, that eat a lot of plant material.
     
  6. Apr 3, 2004 #5
    My history teacher likes to talk a lot. The tonsil deal was one of his "Think about it" statements in class. I guess that kinda proves him wrong.

    Paden Roder
     
  7. Apr 3, 2004 #6
    Look up text on embryology. Human babies have gill slits, which are closed prior to birth. Not sure if the tonsils are related to these slits???

    Nautica
     
  8. Apr 3, 2004 #7

    adrenaline

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    I think you are talking about the pharyngeal slits and they become the eustachian tubes.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2004 #8
    so what's the story on these?

    Paden Roder
     
  10. Apr 4, 2004 #9

    adrenaline

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    eustachian tubes are what give the ear nose throat surgeons alot of business....kidding aside, they are the tubes that drain the middle ear into the throat. Children are born with small, narrow eustachian tubes, so when they get a viral infection, fluid tends to build up and get infected since their eustachian tubes drain inefficiently compared to adults. ...that's why kids have more middle ear infections. Sometimes, it becomes so problamatic, "tubes" have to be placed so they can drain the fluid accumulation in their middle ear. Adults can also develop eustachian tube dysfunction as these passages narrow with debris from long standing infections, allergies etc. Thus, some adults have to have myringotomy tubes placed as well.
     
  11. Apr 4, 2004 #10
    Yes, But I was not sure if there were in relation to the tonsils early in developement, that would be similar to that of gills/gill slits.

    Nautica
     
  12. Apr 4, 2004 #11
    Thanks adreniline. All very good information.
    Paden Roder
     
  13. Apr 4, 2004 #12
    Negative.

    Aychamo
     
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