Chelsea Van Thof
Writing in Biology
In human society, dexterity of the limbs, hands, and body may only be seriously
considered by athletes and surgeons, and may not contribute to our well-being.
However, dexterity is a very important factor in the survival of carnivores, like lions and
hyenas, contributing to their ability to find prey and other predators. A recent study
aimed to determine what contributed to this dexterity looked at body size, inferred
genetic relationships over time, locomotion, and diet in the evolution of dexterity in
fissiped carnivores, or those who’s toes are separated from one another. Previous
studies of this subject only looked at the influence of the paw and its digits, howeverthis
study was conducted using a new rating scale of forelimb dexterity that separates the
contribution of the component of the limb closer to the midline of the body (shoulder)
and the component that is farther away (paw).
The results showed that body size could have evolved as forelimb dexterity
evolved, however when considering each carnivore’s genetic