Do monkeys have thumbs?
Monkeys are primates, which means they are closely related to humans.
Humans share 96% of their DNA with chimpanzees, one species of monkey.
If monkeys are so similar to us in terms of genetics, why don’t they have thumbs?
It all comes down to lifestyle.
Most primate species have longer arms than legs, so they have less need for thumbs.
Monkeys use their hands to climb and grasp things, which is why they have more flexible fingers.
Humans are different since we conquered the earth with two feet on the ground instead of four paws in the trees.
Because humans rely more on their upper limbs for mobility, we have adapted to become more dexterous.
We are also the only primates that use tools.
However, did you know that there is a monkey species with opposable thumbs?
The spider monkey has opposable thumbs and is even called the “human” of the jungle because of its human-like characteristics.
Its hands are T-shaped, with one finger in the back and two fingers in front.
The spider monkey is able to grab branches with ease because of its thumbs.
Do Monkeys Need Thumbs?
Why don’t most monkeys need opposable thumbs?
Primates’ lifestyles vary by species, so it’s no wonder why there are different variations in hand structure.
One thing is clear; they are among the most intelligent species on earth.
Monkeys have been observed using their hands to sweep food into their mouths, hold tools, and even form a fist.
The amount of dexterity that monkeys have with just a few fingers says a lot about how smart these furry little guys really are.
Even if monkeys don’t have thumbs, they are still one of the most intelligent species on earth.
Monkey intelligence is just as varied as human intelligence.
Some monkeys are clever enough to invent tricks to get food, while others use their own hands to dig for roots.
Certain species even have groups within their society that specialize in teaching younger monkeys how to survive without getting hurt.
So, do monkeys have thumbs?
If you look at the big picture of primates’ lifestyles, you might answer no.
But don’t be quick to think that they’re not the closest species to humans.
If you consider the more human qualities they possess, like inventiveness and problem-solving skills, it’s easy to see why humans are more similar to monkeys than we think.
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