HANDS & EVOLUTION – How did the Human Hand evolve in time?

June 11, 2011


The video ‘Evolution of the human hand’ – presents a detailed picture of how modern science perceives the evolution of the human hand in time. The video is sort of based on Darwin’s evolution theory, but the details were delevered by experts in anthropology who studied how the hand shape, finger length & palmar creases evolved during the past 1.8 million years.

The video demonstrates how the ‘early’ humanoid hands (and primates) are typically featured with 3 or more ‘complete transverse creases’ (multiple simian lines), which are positioned horizontal in the hand + two major vertical lines. While at the end of the video displays a typical human hand featured with only 2 curved, oblique positioned ‘primary palmar creases’ (heart line and head line) + one major vertical line (life line).

And the differences between the human hand and the hands of primates served as a model for the evolution of the human hand in time – see below the hands of a man compared to the hands of a baboon, orangutang & chimpanzee.

Many other fascinating details about the evolution of the human hand are described in the work of physician John Napier, titled: Hands.

Another important figure in the history of medical science was the Scottish surgeon John Hunter, who turned the attention of science from the structure of hands to it’s function:

“Structure is the intimate expression of function”

– John Hunter, Scottish surgeon (1728-1793) –


More details about the evolution of other features of the human hand are presented in the articles:

1) The evolution & mystery of the five fingers

2) The history & evolution of the palmar lines

The hand of early hominids (30.000 years old).

The hand of Neanderthals (300.000 years old).

The hand of 'Ardi' (4.4 million years old).

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