Or, rather, did Tolkien leave any specific or general notes on anatomical differences between their and Men's skeletal/muscle/organ structure? There is information on some differences such as height, beards, etc. - but I'm more curious whether their innards might disconcert a human surgeon. If there are no specific notes, a general note indicating that there are differences would also do.

PS. I think in the first of the LotR movies they come across some unusual-looking Dwarf skeletons - but I'm looking for Tolkien's word on this, rather than Peter Jackson's.

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    We do know that elves have far keener eyes and ears than humans, which implies differences in how the neural paths between their brains and their sensory organs; but that doesn't really tell us much about their innards. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 27 '16 at 17:48
  • well, given that aule created dwarves before elves were there, it is possible that dwarves have many differences in their anatomical structure. but i don't think that elves and humans are that different. but that is only a guess... – Armin Feb 27 '16 at 17:51
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Well, we also know that they're immortal - which, on a cellular level, has all sorts of implications. But we're also talking about a world that has magic in it. I'm curious about this from a hypothetical surgeon's perspective. – Misha R Feb 27 '16 at 17:51
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    To downvoter - please keep in mind that a negative vote implies that this is a bad question. In which case, please let me know why. That too may lead me to finding the answer. If you think the question is bad because the answer is obvious, tell me why you think it's obvious. In fact, if there is a clear answer to this, then that's what I'm looking for. – Misha R Feb 27 '16 at 18:12
  • Does that skeleton have a nose? – Mac Cooper Feb 27 '16 at 20:44

In Tolkien's conception, humans and Elves are anatomically identical.

I suppose that actually the chief difficulties I have involved myself in are scientific and biological - which worry me just as much as the theological and metaphysical (though you do not seem to mind them so much). Elves and Men are evidently in biological terms one race, or they could not breed and produce fertile offspring - even as a rare event: there are 2 cases only in my legends of such unions, and they are merged in the descendants of Earendil.


There might be some criticisms of Tolkien's biology there, but I think we can safely say based on that statement, the answer to your question as it regards Elves is that yes, they have a pancreas, just like people.

Dwarves are trickier. There is no similar statement as far as I know. We only know that Aule created them while having the Children of Illuvatar in mind, but he was a little unclear what they actually looked like. Nevertheless, since he did make them as misshapen replicas of Elves and Men, and they have the same diet, I think the answer here is probably also "yes", other than some skeletal differences they are probably pretty much the same.

  • Is there any evidence for the difference in the dwarves' skeletal structures, other than the same proportional differences that would apply to a short stocky human? Such as the strange skull structure as imagined by Peter Jackson? – Misha R Feb 27 '16 at 18:11
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    @MishaRosnach: "And Aulë made the Dwarves even as they still are, because the forms of the Children who were to come were unclear to his mind, and because the power of Melkor was yet over the Earth; and he wished therefore that they should be strong and unyielding." implies more to me than that they were just stocky. But that's about all I'm aware of. – Shamshiel Feb 27 '16 at 18:15
  • Shamshiel - Sure, I suppose it implies that they were "strong and unyielding" instead of stocky. But I don't see why that's an implication that their bones would have different structure, rather than just increased thickness or density. – Misha R Feb 27 '16 at 18:18
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    @MishaRosnach: I meant that "even as they still are" and "the forms of the Children[...] were unclear to his mind" meant they looked substantively different, not just like strong, stocky humans. As additional evidence, the Elves did not even recognize them as sentient beings and hunted them for sport when they first met. – Shamshiel Feb 27 '16 at 18:20
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    @GenericGeek: One imagines that Melian incarnated herself into the body of an Elf. Melian could have also incarnated herself into a dog, or something. The difference between Melian and Thingol while she is incarnated is spiritual, not biological. – Shamshiel Mar 12 '17 at 13:06

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