• Question: what is the point of having an apendix when it is removed without causing any side effects

    Asked by 1drawsome to Daphne, Darren, Jon, Katherine on 21 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Katherine Haxton

      Katherine Haxton answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Scientist aren’t too sure what the appendix does and there are a few theories that it might be useful when the fetus is developing before birth, or the appendix might store good bacteria for the intestines. It may have had a more useful function when we were evolving and it’s just a left over bit!

    • Photo: Daphne Ng

      Daphne Ng answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Herbivores like cows have a large appendix to store bacteria which help them to digest the cellulose in the fibre of plants which they eat.

      Perhaps the appendix in modern humans became much smaller when our ancestors started eating more meat instead of plant matter? So there was no longer any need for a large appendix.