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Fingers and Thumbs

All this talk about fingers and thumbs has got me thinking.

The first tetrapods had more than 5 digits and some mammalian forms have
reduced to 1 so there must be a lot of evidence for digit reduction not just
confined to dinosaurs.  

It seems to me that the most likely mechanism for digit loss would be a
phalange at a time rather than simultaneous reduction of all phalanges to
nothing.  What does the evidence say about this?

If the evidence supports the model of phalanges being lost it does not make
the loss a phalange from II to make it look like I so unusual.

Or am I talking bollocks?