Handedness in Captive Bonobos (Pan paniscus)

ArticleinFolia Primatologica 79(5):253-68 · February 2008with25 Reads
Impact Factor: 0.89 · DOI: 10.1159/000113539 · Source: PubMed


    Species level right-handedness is often considered to be unique to humans. Handedness is held to be interrelated to our language ability and has been used as a means of tracing the evolution of language. Here we examine handedness in 3 captive groups of bonobos (Pan paniscus) comprising 22 individuals. We found no evidence for species level handedness. Conclusions that can be drawn from these findings are: (1) species level handedness evolved after the divergence of the Pan and Homo lineages; (2) inconsistent preferences may represent precursors to human handedness, and (3) Pan may have language abilities but these cannot be measured using handedness.