Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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1. terminal portion of the upper extremity, consisting of the carpus, metacarpus, and digits.

2. dexterous fore paw in primates. Among the lower primates and the monkeys the fore paw serves a dual purpose of hand and foot; it is only among the apes and, especially, the humans that a true hand is found. The term is generally not used for other mammals.

See metacarpal bones.

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