Man the martial artist

The human hand evolved partly as a tool for fighting, researchers argue

By Erin Wayman, 16:19 PM December 19, 2012

Ancient rumbles in the jungle might have left a lasting mark on the human hand.

The hand’s proportions are such that clenching the fingers creates an effective bludgeon, a pair of researchers observes. Perhaps, they propose online December 19 in the Journal of Experimental Biology, evolution played a role in making the hand such a punishing weapon.

But other scientists are skeptical. “There’s no compelling evidence that the hand evolved in this way,” says Mary Marzke, a physical anthropolo...

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