Sunday, April 29, 2007

Extra... Special


Extra, accessory, supernumerary.

All adjectives to describe things on the body that are in excess of what is expected. And usually, in a less than expected place. Usually harmless. More of a intellectual curiosity which may, under some circumstances, lead to social awkwardness. Let's take the tour of some of the excesses of the human body - shall we start from head to toe?

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Ectopic eyebrows and ectopic eyelashes: Yup, extra brow and lash hairs where they're not supposed to be. This is a relatively common condition in dogs, but also occurs in humans. The brows can be seen on the forehead. Lashes can be seen in a variety of places. It's most often described in the ophthalmology literature as somewhere on the eyeball...



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Supernumerary teeth, aka Hyperdontia: More teeth than usual, may be impacted and lead to other dental disturbances. Can occur as an isolated anomaly, or be associated with genetic syndromes like Gardner's syndrome and cleidocranial dysostosis.



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Supernumerary digit: more than 10 fingers or toes:


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Supernumerary nipple: Extra nipples, often along the "milk lines"




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And apparently, these extra nipples can be found in odd places:


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Most of these are cosmetic issues that can be easily removed. However, in this age of transplanting, perhaps instead of rushing to remove these extra special parts, people can hold onto them, as they may come in handy some day - a non-rejectable replacement of the original! ;)

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