The upper hand: study points to early tool use by human ancestors

January 23, 2015 8:53 PM

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The upper hand: study points to early tool use by human ancestors

Scientists said on Thursday an analysis of fossil hand bones of the species Australopithecus africanus that lived in southern Africa about 3 million to 2 million years ago indicated this human forerunner could use its hands in ways very much like modern people.

This species, known for its mix of ape-like and human-like characteristics, possessed the uniquely human ability to have a power-squeeze grip as needed to wield a hammer and a forceful precision grip as used to turn a key, the study showed.

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