Limb Law: How To Know How Many Limbs A Body Needs

News: The Curiosity Podcast is here! Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud and RSS.

Why are we born with the number of limbs that we are? It seems to come down to what is necessary for our body size. Theoretical neurobiologist Mark Changizi came up with the Limb Law, which states that there is a mathematical formula to predict the optimal number of limbs for a body based on the size of those limbs. Thinking of a millipede, the law states that the shorter the limbs get, the more that are necessary. Larger-limbed bodies, like ants, require six limbs.


Love getting smarter? Sign up to our newsletter and get our best content in your inbox!

5 Weirdest Things About Hands - Epic Science #58

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The design of your five-fingered hand dates back 340 million years. 00:17

  2. An extra digit on your hand would not be very helpful. 01:30

  3. Humans have a power grip that other primates lack. 02:07