Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Foot Arch

Any of three arches (lateral longitudinal, medial longitudinal, and transverse) that help support the human foot by providing a springiness that gives when weight is placed on them; these arches are maintained by the interlocking shape of the foot bones, by strong ligaments, and by the pull placed on tendons generated from muscle use. These arches begin to develop in the child’s foot at around age eight. Fossil footprints may indicate bipedalism when evidence of these arches are obtained.

See metatarsal bones.

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