Grip preference, dermatoglyphics, and hand use in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)



This paper examined the association between grip type, hand use, and fingerprint patterns in a sample of captive chimpanzees. Grip type for simple reaching was assessed for the left and right hand and classified as thumb-index, middle-index, or single-digit responses. Fingerprint patterns were characterized as whorls, loops, or arches on each finger. The results indicated that chimpanzees exhibit significantly more thumb-index responses for the right compared to the left hand. In addition, thumb-index responses were more prevalent for subjects that had a whorl compared to a loop or arch on their thumb. The results suggest that fingerprint patterns are associated with individual differences in grasping type in chimpanzees as well as some variation in hand use. Am J Phys Anthropol 128:57-62, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.