Fighting May Have Shaped Evolution of Human Hand
Fighting may have shaped the evolution of the human hand, according to a new study by a team of University of Utah researchers. The scientists used instruments to measure the forces and acceleration when martial artists hit a punch bag and found that the structure of the fist provides support that increases the ability of the knuckles to transmit “punching” force.
In their paper, Prof Carrier and Michael H Morgan point out that the human hand has also been shaped by the need for manual dexterity. But they say that a number of different hand proportions are compatible with an enhanced ability to manipulate objects. “There may, however, be only one set of skeletal proportions that allows the hand to function both as a mechanism for precise manipulation and as a club for striking,” the researchers write in the Journal of Experimental Biology.