10 Worst Adaptations in the Animal Kingdom

Adam's Apple
Although it tends to be more noticeable on males, both women and men have an Adam's apple. iStock/Thinkstock

Most of us operate under a couple of misconceptions when it comes to the Adam's apple. One is that only men have the bump on the throat, which enlarges with puberty. The other misconception somewhat logically follows: If men only have one and women manage to have a full and healthy life without one, then it doesn't serve any function.

Wrong on both counts. Both men and women have Adam's apples, and -- just like any part of our anatomy -- they're bigger for some, and smaller for others. Adam's apples are just cartilage plates around the larynx that swell as growth takes place. And yes, there's certainly a tendency for men's larynxes to grow bigger, but they also look bigger simply because male Adam's apples tend to protrude from the neck at a different angle.

So all of us have so-called Adam's apples, and they're in place to shield our vocal cords [source: Pikul]. While it's clear that having an Adam's apple is a good deal, we could argue that it's a pretty terrible adaptation for men, who get all the protection that women get, plus a larger bump on their neck to boot.