Anatomy Journal of Africa

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A study on tongue rolling, tongue folding and cerumen type in a Nigeria population

Ebeye Oladunni Abimbola


This study investigated Variation in cerumen type, tongue rolling and tongue folding abilities of the Esan people of Southern Nigeria. This cross-sectional survey investigated 400 volunteered adult subjects (176 males and 224 females) between the ages of 18 and 60 whose parents and grandparents were of Esan ethnicity. The tongue and ear wax type were observed and examined physically thus classifying subjects into rollers/none-rollers, folders/none-folders and dry or wet cerumen type. Results indicates that tongue rollers (72.9%) were more than non-rollers (27.3%), in the same vein, tongue folders (68.3%) were also more than non-folders (31.7%) in the studied population. A larger percentage of the population also had wet ear wax (65%) while (35%) had dry ear wax. The chisquared analysis of variance showed that there is a significant difference (P<0.05) between those who can roll their tongue and those who cannot, those that could fold their tongue and those who cannot as well as between those with wet ear wax and dry ear wax. This study therefore provides data on the distribution of tongue rollers, tongue folders as well as variability in cerumen type. This data can be of importance to the anthropologist and forensic investigators.

Keywords: Variation, Genetics, Inheritance, tongue rolling, tongue folding, cerumen type

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