Page last updated at 08:11 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Boy born with 24 fingers and toes

Baby Kamani
The condition runs in families

A baby boy has been born in California with 24 perfectly formed fingers and toes - six on each hand and foot.

Being born with additional digits - or being a "polydactyl" - is not wholly uncommon, but it is unusual to see the condition on every extremity.

The Bay Area hospital said staff did not notice the extra digits on ultrasound scans - and did not even spot it when Kamani Hubbard was born.

It was his father, Kris, who realised his son had some unusual features.

Polydactylism is genetic and the father said there was a family history of the condition. However he added his son's case was unique.

"Some family members have had six fingers, not completely developed. But not the toes."

A paediatrician at St Luke's hospital, Dr Michael Treece, said: "It's merely an interesting and beautiful variation rather than a worrisome thing.

"Imagine what sort of a pianist a 12-fingered person would be. Imagine what sort of flamenco guitarist. Think of their typing skills."

Famous polydactyls have reputedly included the English music hall entertainer Little Tich and Anne Boleyn - although the latter is still disputed by historians.

Cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers was also born with an extra finger on each hand.

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