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The impact of hand proportions on tool grip abilities in humans, great apes and fossil hominins: a biomechanical analysis using musculoskeletal simulation

Bardo, Ameline, Vigouroux, Laurent, Kivell, Tracy L., Pouydebat, Emmanuelle (2018) The impact of hand proportions on tool grip abilities in humans, great apes and fossil hominins: a biomechanical analysis using musculoskeletal simulation. Journal of Human Evolution, 125 . pp. 106-121. ISSN 0047-2484. (doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2018.10.001) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

Differences in grip techniques used across primates are usually attributed to variation in thumb-finger proportions and muscular anatomy of the hand. However, this cause-effect relationship is not fully understood because little is known about the biomechanical functioning and mechanical loads (e.g., muscle or joint forces) of the non-human primate hand compared to that of humans during object manipulation. This study aims to understand the importance of hand proportions on the use of different grip strategies used by humans, extant great apes (bonobos, gorillas and orangutans) and, potentially, fossil hominins (Homo naledi and Australopithecus sediba) using a musculoskeletal model of the hand. Results show that certain grips are more challenging for some species, particularly orangutans, than others, such that they require stronger muscle forces for a given range of motion. Assuming a human-like range of motion at each hand joint, simulation results show that H. naledi and A. sediba had the biomechanical potential to use the grip techniques considered important for stone tool-related behaviors in humans. These musculoskeletal simulation results shed light on the functional consequences of the different hand proportions among extant and extinct hominids and the different manipulative abilities found in humans and great apes.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2018.10.001
Uncontrolled keywords: Hominoids, Australopithecus, Homo, Great apes, Manipulation, Dexterity
Subjects: Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: Tracy Kivell
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 14:42 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2019 12:52 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/70142 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bardo, Ameline: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1840-6423
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