Accurate Overhand Throwing

Certainty Style Key
Hover over keys for definitions:
True   Likely   Speculative
Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Absolute Difference
Human Universality: 
Individual Universal (All Individuals Everywhere)
MOCA Domain: 
MOCA Topic Authors: 

Humans have the ability to accurately throw overhand. They can throw with aim and precision and improve both with practice. Shoulder modifications associated with throwing are already present at 2 myr. In contrast, apes cannot throw accurately overhand. They can throw with great force, and can fling their objects without much precision or aim. The aiming of underhanded throwing can be accurate in apes.

Related MOCA Topics
Related Topics (hover over title for reason):
Referenced By:

Timing of appearance of the difference in the Hominin Lineage as a defined date or a lineage separation event. The point in time associated with lineage separation events may change in the future as the scientific community agrees upon better time estimates. Lineage separation events are currently defined as:

  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and old world monkeys was 25000 thousand (25 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees was 6000 thousand (6 million) years ago
  • the emergence of Homo ergaster was 2000 thousand (2 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and neanderthals was 400 thousand years ago
  • the common ancestor of modern humans was 100 thousand years ago

Possible Appearance: 
6,000 Thousand Years
Probable Appearance (Lineage Separation Event): 
Emergence of Homo
Definite Appearance: 
100 Thousand Years
Universality in Human Populations: 

 Populational variation in humeral retroversion

Mechanisms Responsible for the Difference: 

Carpal kinematics

Elbow flexion

Expansion of the anteroposterior (AP) dimension of the upper rib cage

Increased AP upper chest depth (measured as the ratio of the chord length of the second rib to humeral length) 

Increased humeral torsion and retroversion

Mechanical effects on epiphyseal growth

Mirror neurons

Orientation of the glenoid fossa




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