Grasping in primates: for feeding, moving and human specificities (Saisir chez les primates: se nourrir, se deplacer et les specificities humanines)

Pouydebat, E and Fragaszy, Dorothy M. and Kivell, Tracy L. (2014) Grasping in primates: for feeding, moving and human specificities (Saisir chez les primates: se nourrir, se deplacer et les specificities humanines). Bulletins et Mémoires de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris, 26 (3-4). pp. 129-133. ISSN 0037-8984. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s13219-014-0100-7) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

For a long time, humans (genus Homo) were thought to be the only mammalian species capable of dextrous manual grasping. However, grasping is widespread among tetrapods, and among primates, it is associated with a wide range of morphological, dietary and locomotor variation. From an evolutionary perspective, this prompts several questions: is the origin and evolution of grasping in primates derived from requirements associated primarily with feeding or primarily with locomotor behaviour? Are there grasping abilities that are unique to humans? Who made the first tool? The main purpose of this paper is to present a short overview of grasping in primates in order to open a discussion. We show that grasping strategies vary across species, depending on food properties and the substrates used. We also demonstrate that non-human primates can control individual digits, allowing them to use their hands dextrously. Finally, we discuss the challenges that arise in distinguishing anatomical features related to grasping and the debate around the first hominin tool-makers.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: Tracy Kivell
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 08:50 UTC
Last Modified: 08 May 2018 08:45 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/43772 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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