Neanderthal thimbles were best suited to holding tools with handles: study. Neanderthals may have found that a precise grip (where the object is placed between the finger and the tip of the thumb) is more challenging than tight grips, where the objects are placed like a hammer, between the fingers and the palm of the thumb.
New research, led by the University of Kent, according to Force. Neanderthal reconstruction. Photo courtesy: Neanderthal Museum “Much research has debated the technical capabilities of Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) in relation to early modern humans (Homo sapiens).”
With particular attention to subtle differences in thumb morphology and this may reflect differences in handling behavior in these two species, said lead author Dr. Skeletal Biology Research Center at the University of Kent. Emeline Bardo and her colleagues said.
“We provide a novel perspective on this debate through 3D geometric morphological analysis of the covariance of shape between the articular surfaces of the first trapezoidal and proximal Neanderthal metacarpal compared to early and recent humans.”
The researchers used 3D analysis to map the joints (collectively referred to as the trapezius-pural complex) between the bones responsible for the movement of the thumb of five Neanderthal individuals.
They then compared the results with measurements taken from the remains of five early modern humans and 40 recent modern adults.
They found a covariation in the shape and relative orientation of the joints of the trapeziometacarpal complex that suggests different repeated movements of the thumb in Neanderthals than in modern humans.
The joint at the base of the thumb of Neanderthal remains is flatter with a smaller contact surface and is more suitable for a thumb extended along the edge of the hand.
This thumb stance suggests that regular use of force is similar to the ‘squeeze’ grips, which we now hold with the handle tool.
In comparison, these articular surfaces are generally larger and more curved in recent modern human thumbs, an advantage when holding objects between the fingertips and the thumb, known as a precision grip.
Although the morphological power of the Neanderthals studied is better suited to tight grip, they will still be able to perform precise hand postures, but they may have found it more challenging than modern humans, said Dr. Bardo said.
A comparison of fossil morphology between the hands of Neanderthals and modern humans can provide more insight into the behavior of our ancient relatives and the use of ancient tools. The team’s article was published online in Scientific Reports.
The Neanderthal thumb is better adapted to hold the handle, the instrument with the study. An employee of the Natural History Museum in London looks at the model of the Neanderthal man (PA File).
The Neanderthal thumb was better adapted to hold tools in the same way that a human would hold a hammer, new research suggests. The findings suggest that Neanderthals may have found precision grips more challenging than electric grips.
Precision grips consist of holding an object between the tip of the finger and the thumb, and electric compression grips, where the object is held like a hammer, with the directive force of the thumb between the fingers and the palm.
Using 3D analysis, Drs. Emeline Bardo and her coworkers mapped the joints between the bones responsible for the movement of the thumb, collectively called the trapezometacarpal complex, of five Neanderthal individuals.
They compared the results with measurements taken from the remains of five early modern humans and 50 recent modern adults.
Researchers at the University of Kent found correlations in the size and relative orientation of the joints, suggesting different repetitive thumb movements in Neanderthals than in modern humans.
Neanderthal remains were best suited for a flattened joint with a small contact surface at the base of the thumb and an extended thumb along the edge of the hand. According to a study published in Scientific Reports.
This thumb posture suggests that power grips for squeezing are used regularly, just as humans now use to hold tools with handles. These results underscore the importance of general analysis of joint shape in understanding the functional capabilities and development of the modern human thumb.
These joint surfaces are generally larger and more curved in recent modern human thumbs, an advantage when holding objects between the fingertips and the thumb, known as a precision grip.
The researchers said that although the morphology of the Neanderthals studied is better suited for power grips, they would still be capable of performing precise hand postures. However, they may have found it more challenging than modern humans, according to the authors.
A comparison of fossil morphology between the hands of Neanderthals and modern humans can provide more insight into the behavior of our ancient relatives and the use of ancient tools.
The authors wrote: The results show a distinct pattern of shape covariation in Neanderthals. And consistent with more extended and paired thumb postures that may reflect the usual grip use commonly used for serrated devices.
He said: “These results underscore the importance of general analysis of joint shape in understanding the functional capabilities and development of the modern human thumb.”
Power vs. Cunning: Neanderthal had powerful thumbs, while humans had better control. The Neanderthal thumb was better suited for holding tools with handles, a new study found.
A 3D analysis of the joints between the bones responsible for Neanderthal-related thumb movement revealed how our extinct cousins may have caught objects.
According to the analysis, the Neanderthal thumb was best adapted to be a force grip, similar to the one you see holding a hammer. However, this made it more difficult to employ precise capture.
Which may have given Holmes the upper hand at a time when two species of Homo were directly competing for resources. Neanderthals were probably better able to hold a spear than early humans.
But they lacked other divisions. Modern archaeological finds suggest that Neanderthals were not the many brutes who imagined them. They wore necklaces and other types of jewelry, and were detailed and creative with their cave paintings like humans of the time.
He made offerings to bury flowers, pointing out a complex cultural heritage, as well as mastering fiber technology and understanding basic mathematics from the pattern of threads and ropes.
Of course, Neanderthals were much more similar than humans. In fact, it intervened several times, a fact that to date is associated with 2% of our DNA that is of Neanderthal origin.
But, in the end, Neanderthals became extinct around 40,000 years ago, while humans spread across seven continents and dominated the planet’s ecosystem. So while Neanderthals were also smart and resourceful, humans may have gained an added advantage in other areas.
Perhaps Neanderthals were more vulnerable to diseases that humans themselves brought from Africa and the Middle East. A new study published today in the journal Scientific Reports may draw a different conclusion: Neanderthals may be technically more powerful, not because of their inferior intelligence.
But because of their working hands, allowing them a precise grip. They were less adapted. The researchers, led by Emeline Bardo from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, mapped the joints between the bones responsible for the movement of the thumb, known collectively as the trapeziometacarpal complex, in five Neanderthals.
The 3D digital model was compared to similar measurements of five early modern humans, the largest of whom lived in present-day Israel about 95,000 years ago. The comparative analysis also included the thumb joints of 50 in recently deceased modern human adults.
In Neanderthal, the joint connecting the wrist bone to the base of the wrist, with the first thumb bone connecting to the wrist, was best suited for extension of the edge of the arm. This thumb stance is best suited for power punch fists, similar to what we would use to hold the hammer.
The power grip hilt would have been useful to Neanderthals when grasping spears that are used for hunting. In contrast, modern humans have thumb joints that are generally larger and more curved than our extinct cousins.
This setting is best suited for holding objects between your fingertips and thumb, such as holding a pen.
Ultimately, this precise grip may have helped humans develop better technology. However, at this time there is no way of knowing how true the Neanderthals were.
After all, the domain of humans varies enormously and there is no reason to believe that Neanderthals were different. Maybe a larger sample size will clean things up a bit.
The study authors wrote: The results show a distinct pattern of shape covariation in Neanderthals, consistent with more elongated and paired thumb mats than those commonly used for the grips used in devices. Demonstrates common use.
These results underscore the importance of general analysis of joint shape in understanding the functional capabilities and development of the modern human thumb, he said.