Nails (anatomy)

Nails (anatomy)

About Nails (anatomy)

A nail is a horn-like envelope covering the dorsal aspect of the terminal phalanges of fingers and toes in humans, most non-human primates, and a few other mammals. Nails are similar to claws, which are found on numerous other animals. Fingernails and toenails are made of a tough protein called keratin, as are animals' hooves and horns. The mammalian nail, claw, and hoof are all examples of unguis [plural ungues]. The nail consists of the nail plate, the nail matrix and the nail bed below it, and the grooves surrounding it. The matrix (synonyms: matrix unguis, keratogenous membrane, nail matrix, onychostroma) is the tissue (or germinal matrix) which the nail protects, the part of the nail bed that rests beneath the nail and contains nerves, lymph and blood vessels. The matrix is responsible for the producing cells that become the nail plate.

Contributions by Lmcelhiney, Janeen Puckett, and Brinerustle.

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