According to a published article, Neanderthal thumbs are better suited for holding tools than we are for hammers. Scientific Reports. The findings show that Neanderthals found precise handles that were held between the fingertips and the thumb – objects held like hammers, harder than the force held between the fingers and thumb and palm. directional force.
Using 3D analysis, Ameline Bardo and colleagues mapped the joints between the bones responsible for the movement of the thumb of five Neanderthal individuals — commonly known as the trapeziometacarpal complex — and compared the results with measurements from the remains of five early modern humans. 50 new modern adults.
The authors found a change in the shape and relative direction of trapeziometacarpal complexes that suggest different movements of the thumb in Neanderthals compared to modern humans. The joint at the base of the thumb of the Neanderthal remains is more flat than a smaller contact surface and is more suitable for an outstretched thumb placed on the side of the hand. This thumb posture suggests regular use of force ‘squeeze’ handles, as we now use to hold tools with handles. For comparison, these articular surfaces are generally larger and more curved in the thumbs of modern man, an advantage when holding objects known as a precise grip between the finger and thumb pads.
Although the morphology of the Neanderthals studied was more suitable for ‘squeezing’ force, the authors said that although they could still establish precise hand postures, they were more difficult to find than modern humans.
A comparison of phosphorus morphology between the hands of Neanderthals and modern humans may provide more information about the behavior of our ancient relatives and the use of early tools.
Reference: “Effects of thumb movements on Neanderthal and modern human manipulation” November 26, 2020, Scientific Reports.
DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-020-75694-2