How Humans Became (Mostly) Right-Handed (Video)
The majority of Neanderthals, much like modern Homo sapiens, exhibited a strong preference for using their right hand, as evidenced by the accidental scratches on their teeth. This intriguing aspect of handedness seems deeply rooted in our evolutionary history, potentially linked to our early ancestors' upright posture and tool-making abilities. The symmetry of scratches on teeth, coupled with bone thickness observations in upper arm bones, supports the notion that our extinct hominin relatives, including Neanderthals, were predominantly right-handed. This preference for right-handedness might have evolved in conjunction with the development of stone tools and the lateralization of brain functions. The left hemisphere, controlling the right hand, played a crucial role in manipulating objects, including crafting tools.
- Are you a Righty or Lefty? Ancient Teeth and Tools May Explain the Evolution of Handedness
- Taking a ‘Knapp’ With Our Ancient Ancestors - Stone Tools Through the Ages
While the genetic basis of handedness remains elusive, it appears to be a complex interplay of multiple genes and environmental factors. Interestingly, left-handed individuals, though a minority, demonstrate unique advantages, such as more evenly distributed brain processing, potentially contributing to enhanced coordination, memory, and verbal skills. In certain interactive sports, left-handers often hold a surprising advantage, showcasing the adaptability and variability within our species. The persistence of left-handedness over time hints at the evolutionary advantages it provides, offering a fascinating glimpse into the diverse ways humans have adapted and thrived throughout history.
Top image: Right-handed evolution may have deep roots in our lineage. Source: YouTube Screenshot/PCS Eons