7

votes

How did paleo humans cut their nails?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 22, 2011 at 11:20 AM

The topic pretty much says it all.

I can't really think of any other way than "with their teeth". When this is true Why then is nail biting regarded as something one shouldn't do?

What other ways are there to get rid of your nails in a natural way? How do you do it?

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on February 03, 2013
at 05:02 PM

I gnaw mine down to a nice length when they get too long. Good jaw exercise. You can also tear them, but that's not as predictably even.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 03, 2013
at 04:44 PM

Funnily enough, this isn't the first time aliens have been given as an explanation here on PH. I love it every time it happens.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:40 PM

And sanitary issues regarding whatever gunk is under your fingernails!Anyone ever hear of pinworms? gag

Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02

(295)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:36 PM

My girlfriend does this still (ie as an adult). Occasionally she will use the clipper but she usually just peels them off. Every time she does I cringe a little at the thought of splitting the nail or having really jagged edges, but she hasn't had a problem with those. I imagine before we had clippers/scissors people just peeled them off.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 09, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Oh my gosh, I did/do that, too. I don't know of anyone else who does that. Interestingly, earlier this summer I started supplementing with Vitamins D, Bs, and K2, and (about a month later) my nails got so strong that I could grow them without being able to peel them. I just got back from 3 weeks out of town, not taking my vitamins, and was just able to peel my smaller fingernails, again. So I think the peel-ablity of the nails may be a sign of nutrient deficiency, and I need to stay on my vitamins.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2012
at 11:10 PM

Humen makes more sense. I think I'll start using it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2012
at 11:09 PM

Look up the youtube video of the San going after a porcupine for supper. They block 3 exits via digging and then dig the little sticker up. "Stone age" style hunting wasn't very glamorous!

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on July 24, 2011
at 04:02 PM

That happens to me a lot - I search and find nothing, but then what I'm looking for shows up in a related thread with the same keywords :)

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:37 AM

Thanks for the edit!

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:36 AM

This seems to me like an answer from a typically modern point of view. I too suppose like PaleoAngel that the exact opposite could be the case.

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:34 AM

You're right. Didn't find it when I searched for "cut nails"...

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:34 AM

You're right. Didn't find it when I search for "cur nails"...

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:33 AM

Which kind of labor would wear your finger nails down that much. I can only think of digging in dirt? The labor of women and men is supposed to have been vastly different but conincidentally they both did work which shortened their nails? And which work wears down your toe nails at all? I really don't know what kind of labor they did so you might be right of course!

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:30 AM

I could swear I've read "humen" before and was just assuming it must be right then. Well we never learn too much :) HUMANS it is!!

E5103bd115084c001999682686069a20

(286)

on July 23, 2011
at 12:46 AM

I mean maybe all the bacteria was good for immunity.. Hmmmmmmmm

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on July 22, 2011
at 06:54 PM

I was wondering if gut flora was better when we all bit our nails? Question to be asked perhaps?

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 22, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Yes, I'm not making fun, I just like the idea of the word huwomen -

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 22, 2011
at 04:22 PM

I think OP's first language isn't English. Easy to see how you could get human/humen from analogy to man/men.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 22, 2011
at 04:08 PM

the opposite of a huwomen - of course :)

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on July 22, 2011
at 02:22 PM

sometimes my dogs bite down their nails.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on July 22, 2011
at 02:01 PM

That's usually how I trim my nails: they either break on their own or I use my thumb nails to trim/rip the nails on my fingers. I always intend on using a file, but it's never close by when I think about it...

Medium avatar

(19479)

on July 22, 2011
at 12:25 PM

I second this notion! Another example would be birds. In captivity, they need to gnaw on cuttlebones to wear down their beak, but in the wild this happens naturally.

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12 Answers

14
1bd4ea62097aa99c8cbef8aa5d02db77

on July 22, 2011
at 11:40 AM

I would suspect they'd simply be worn down due to physical labour. Like how we have to trim a pet dog's nails, but in general, a dog in the wild doesn't need them trimmed because they wear down due to walking, hunting, digging, etc.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on July 22, 2011
at 12:25 PM

I second this notion! Another example would be birds. In captivity, they need to gnaw on cuttlebones to wear down their beak, but in the wild this happens naturally.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on July 22, 2011
at 02:22 PM

sometimes my dogs bite down their nails.

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:33 AM

Which kind of labor would wear your finger nails down that much. I can only think of digging in dirt? The labor of women and men is supposed to have been vastly different but conincidentally they both did work which shortened their nails? And which work wears down your toe nails at all? I really don't know what kind of labor they did so you might be right of course!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2012
at 11:09 PM

Look up the youtube video of the San going after a porcupine for supper. They block 3 exits via digging and then dig the little sticker up. "Stone age" style hunting wasn't very glamorous!

5
8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

on July 22, 2011
at 11:36 AM

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on July 24, 2011
at 04:02 PM

That happens to me a lot - I search and find nothing, but then what I'm looking for shows up in a related thread with the same keywords :)

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:34 AM

You're right. Didn't find it when I search for "cur nails"...

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:34 AM

You're right. Didn't find it when I searched for "cut nails"...

4
62f89aa727cf3ce77c36651347cabc14

(884)

on July 22, 2011
at 02:12 PM

What's a humen?

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 22, 2011
at 04:08 PM

the opposite of a huwomen - of course :)

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 22, 2011
at 04:22 PM

I think OP's first language isn't English. Easy to see how you could get human/humen from analogy to man/men.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 22, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Yes, I'm not making fun, I just like the idea of the word huwomen -

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:30 AM

I could swear I've read "humen" before and was just assuming it must be right then. Well we never learn too much :) HUMANS it is!!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2012
at 11:10 PM

Humen makes more sense. I think I'll start using it.

4
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on July 22, 2011
at 11:54 AM

I don't think there's anything innately bad about biting your nails. It's just that the people who do it do it as a nervous habit and end up biting them down too far. Paleo man probably did bite them though, when they didn't end up getting broken off by his daily activities.

4
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on July 22, 2011
at 11:32 AM

Interesting question, I hadn't thought about that! I just cut my nails with a regular nail clipper; not gonna start biting them in the name of re-enactment ;) I think it's come to be regarded as less socially acceptable because of sanitary issues involved with spitting bits of fingernails wherever.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:40 PM

And sanitary issues regarding whatever gunk is under your fingernails!Anyone ever hear of pinworms? gag

3
A45955e4c4cbe88ed6645828ba13f75a

(132)

on July 23, 2011
at 02:49 PM

Ever since I was a kids I used to pick at the side of my nails and then peel the ends off. The grain of the nail runs in a curve around the end of your finger rather than straight across so the nails splits in a curve around the end of your nail therefore not tearing into the skin (unless you pick too far down. This works on toenails too.

Only sine I became an adult did I start using nail clippers.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 09, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Oh my gosh, I did/do that, too. I don't know of anyone else who does that. Interestingly, earlier this summer I started supplementing with Vitamins D, Bs, and K2, and (about a month later) my nails got so strong that I could grow them without being able to peel them. I just got back from 3 weeks out of town, not taking my vitamins, and was just able to peel my smaller fingernails, again. So I think the peel-ablity of the nails may be a sign of nutrient deficiency, and I need to stay on my vitamins.

Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02

(295)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:36 PM

My girlfriend does this still (ie as an adult). Occasionally she will use the clipper but she usually just peels them off. Every time she does I cringe a little at the thought of splitting the nail or having really jagged edges, but she hasn't had a problem with those. I imagine before we had clippers/scissors people just peeled them off.

3
E5103bd115084c001999682686069a20

on July 22, 2011
at 01:31 PM

A lot of stuff gets stuck under nails. If you put them in your mouth you could risk infection. It seems more likely that early humans filed them naturally through labor like someone else mentioned.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on July 22, 2011
at 06:54 PM

I was wondering if gut flora was better when we all bit our nails? Question to be asked perhaps?

E5103bd115084c001999682686069a20

(286)

on July 23, 2011
at 12:46 AM

I mean maybe all the bacteria was good for immunity.. Hmmmmmmmm

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776

(161)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:36 AM

This seems to me like an answer from a typically modern point of view. I too suppose like PaleoAngel that the exact opposite could be the case.

1
36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

on July 22, 2011
at 01:32 PM

Like someone else said they probably naturally fall off. Or you could rip em off with your other nails.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on July 22, 2011
at 02:01 PM

That's usually how I trim my nails: they either break on their own or I use my thumb nails to trim/rip the nails on my fingers. I always intend on using a file, but it's never close by when I think about it...

0
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on February 03, 2013
at 06:22 AM

They wouldn't cut their nails. Wild living would keep them down, and regular stress would've put more growth into thickness. You'd want them kinda long. Occasionally they'd get broken or torn out.

0
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:46 PM

Bite them! The tradition continues with millions of people today! This would help their teeth AND would be another delivery agent for essential bacteria to get into the system. All PALEO!

0
3dce66e52c1a0f8fb6746c567c45e9c2

on February 02, 2013
at 07:23 PM

It must have been alien technology,or there women bit them off for them because everyone knows when man has long toenails he can get a better grip while making love,so either aliens did it for them or there women bit them off for them or they bit each others off like apes do when they groom each other.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 03, 2013
at 04:44 PM

Funnily enough, this isn't the first time aliens have been given as an explanation here on PH. I love it every time it happens.

-1
1398eff69b192c35de5e0dbaad59052a

(2024)

on February 03, 2013
at 04:37 PM

Yet another level of ridiculousness.

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