The foot (plural: feet) is an anatomical structure found in many vertebrates. It is the terminal portion of a limb which bears weight and allows locomotion. In many animals with feet, the foot is a separate organ at the terminal part of the leg made up of one or more segments or bones, generally including claws or nails. Etymology The word 'foot', in the sense of meaning the 'terminal part of the leg of a vertebrate animal' comes from 'Old English fot 'foot, ' from Proto-Germanic *fot (source also of Old Frisian fot, Old Saxon fot, Old Norse fotr, Danish fod, Swedish fot, Dutch voet, Old High German fuoz, German Fu, Gothic fotus 'foot'), from PIE root *ped- 'foot. 'The 'plural form feet is an instance of i-mutation. ' Structure The human foot is a strong and complex mechanical structure containing 26 bones, 33 joints (20 of which are actively articulated), and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The joints of the foot are the ankle and subtalar joint and the interphalangeal articulations of the foot. An anthropometric study of 1197 North American adult Caucasian males (mean age 35. 5 years) found that a man's foot length was 26. 3 cm with a standard deviation of 1. 2 cm. The foot can be subdivided into the hindfoot, the midfoot, and the forefoot:The hindfoot is composed of the talus (or ankle bone) and the calcaneus (or heel bone). The two long bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula, are connected to the top of the talus to form the ankle. Connected to the talus at the subtalar joint, the calcaneus, the largest bone of the foot, is cushioned underneath by a layer of fat. The five irregular bones of the midfoot, the cuboid, navicular, and three cuneiform bones, form the arches of the foot which serves as a shock absorber. The midfoot is connected to the hind- and fore-foot by muscles and the plantar fascia. The forefoot is composed of five toes and the corresponding five proximal long bones forming the metatarsus. Similar to the fingers of the hand, the bones of the toes are called phalanges and the big toe has two phalanges while the other four toes have three phalanges each.
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