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Department
Biology
Course
BIOLOGY 312
Professor
Goodenough
Semester
Spring

Description
Chelsea Van Thof Writing in Biology Dexterity and the Carnivore Unless you are an athlete or surgeon, you may never consider whether the dexterity of your limbs, hands, and body contributes to your 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 at determining what contributed to carnivore dexterity. It looked at body size, ancestral relationships, locomotion, and diet in the evolution of dexterity in fissiped carnivores, or those whose toes are separated from one another. Previous studies of this subject only looked at the influence of the paw and its digits, whereas this study used a new scale, rating forelimb dexterity by separating the contribution of the component of the limb closer to the body (shoulder) and the component that is farther away (paw). The results showed that body size could have evolved as forelimb dexterity evolved, but once each carnivore’s historical genetic relationships were considered, this was no longer the case. These genetic relationships showed
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