HANDS – Five major differences between the primate hand and the human hand!

November 18, 2009

Primate hands: the hand of a macaque!

Primate hands: the hand of a macaque!

‘Whorls’ are a common features in the hands of many primate species!

What are the major differences between the hands of primate species and the human?

• 1 – Primates usually have a shorter thumb than humans – the thumb of the macaque (see photo on the left) does not rearch out behond the distal border of the handpalm.

• 2 – Primates usually have a lower ‘2D:4D digit ratio’ than humans – the hand of the macaque is featured with a much longer ring finger (digit 4) than the pointer finger (digit 2).

• 3 – Primates usually have more fingerprint- and palmar whorls than humans – the hand of the macaque is featured with 5 palmar whorls.

• 4 – Primates always have a lower ‘ridge density’ than humans.

• 5 – Primates usually have (various) palmar transversal creases, a.k.a. ‘simian lines’ – the hand of the macaque has one ‘simian line’.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
The Monkey Palmist!
Fingerprints, toeprints, and … tailprints?
Understanding our past: the human hand vs. the primate hand!
Hands in the perspective of evolution!
Weird stories about hands & evolution!

PHOTO: Impression from the back of the hand of a macaque:
Impression from the back of the hand of a macaque.

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One Response to “HANDS – Five major differences between the primate hand and the human hand!”


  1. […] FOR FURTHER READING: • The evolution of the human hand! • Five major differences between the primate hand & the human hand! • Primate hands: finger length linked with social behavior! • Beagle report: Charles Darwin had […]

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