Right-handedness existed more than 500K years agoApril 20th, 2011 - 2:37 pm ICT by ANI
London, April 20 (ANI): Right-handedness, a distinctively human characteristic that has right-handers outnumbering lefties nine-to-one, goes back more than 500,000 years, according to a scientist at the University of Kansas.
For the findings, David Frayer, professor of anthropology at the University and lead author of the study, used markings on fossilized front teeth.
His research established that distinctive markings on fossilized teeth correlate to the right or left-handedness of individual prehistoric humans.
“The patterns seen on the fossil teeth are directly and consistently produced by right or left hand manipulation in experimental work,” said Frayer.
The oldest teeth studied by him come from a more than 500,000-year-old chamber known as Sima de los Huesos near Burgos, Spain, containing the remains of humans believed to be ancestors of European Neandertals. Other teeth come from later Neandertal populations in Europe.
“These marks were produced when a stone tool was accidentally dragged across the labial face in an activity performed at the front of the mouth,” he said.
“The heavy scoring on some of the teeth indicates the marks were produced over the lifetime of the individual and are not the result of a single cutting episode,” according to Frayer.
Overall, Frayer and his co-authors found right-handedness in 93.1 percent of individuals sampled from the Sima de los Huesos and European Neandertal sites.
“This establishes that handedness is found in more than just recent Homo sapiens,” he concluded.
The study was published this month in the British journal Laterality. (ANI)
- Right-handedness prevailed even in prehistoric humans - Apr 20, 2011
- Ancient humans' teeth show they were predominately right-handed - May 24, 2009
- Ancient teeth found in Israeli cave raise questions about humans' origin - Feb 10, 2011
- Gene discovery supports handedness, language-related disorders link - Nov 05, 2010
- "Nutcracker Man" dined on grasses, not nuts one million years ago! - May 03, 2011
- Neanderthal, Homo sapiens split 500,000yrs older than believed - Jun 24, 2010
- World's first known cannibals ate each other for extra nutrition - Aug 27, 2010
- Human childhood considerably longer than chimps: Study - Nov 16, 2010
- African hominid fed on unique hard diet - Jul 01, 2012
- Prehistoric humans ate each other: Study - Dec 14, 2010
- New study suggests earliest humans were not very different from us - Feb 15, 2011
- Female domestic cats tend to be righties, males lefties - Jul 28, 2009
- 'Modern' living was invented by Homo Erectus, not Homo Sapiens - Jan 14, 2010
- 30,000 B.C. cave home found in China - May 11, 2011
- Right-handed chimps hint towards origin of human language - Nov 17, 2009
Tags: 500k, ancestors, anthropology, burgos spain, distinctive markings, experimental work, fossil teeth, fossilized teeth, frayer, front teeth, hand manipulation, left hand, left handedness, lefties, neandertal, prehistoric humans, right handedness, sima de los huesos, stone tool, university of kansas