Evolution of the Human Hand from Early Hominid to Today

Matthew Gonzalez, Steven Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human body has evolved greatly over time and the hand has shown some of the most intricate changes. Most evolutionary experts attribute this to the greater use of tools facilitated by the early hominid’s transition to a bipedal gait. Increased tool use drove these changes by providing a convincing reproductive advantage for early humans. In particular, hand adaptations resulted from two types of grips that were fundamental in our development: the precision grip and the power grip. To fully understand how these changes in development occurred, a review of evolutionary theory will be proffered and further discussion of the unique archi-tecture of the hands of our closest living relatives compared with that of humans will follow. Finally, we will examine the two uniquely human grips, the anatomic adaptations that allowed for their development, and the reasoning behind how these grips provided a compelling reproductive advantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalBulletin of the Hospital for Joint Disease (2013)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


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