For ancient hominids, thumbs up on precision grip

Humanlike grasp may have evolved by 6 million years ago

By Bruce Bower, 13:58 PM April 19, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE — A tiny fossil thumb bone provides a gripping look at the early evolution of human hands, according to a study presented April 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

An upright gait and a relatively sophisticated ability to manipulate objects apparently evolved in tandem among the earliest hominids at least 6 million years ago, said Sergio Almécija of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. That’s well before the earliest evidence of s...

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