Human Evolution

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 17-23

First online:

Are gorillas right-handed or not?

  • W. C. McGrewAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology and Anthropology, Miami University
  • , L. F. MarchantAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology and Anthropology, Miami University

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Comparative data on laterality of function in primates are useful for elucidating its evolution, including its link to asymmetry of cerebral structure. Recently the gorilla (Gorilla gorilla, Pongidae) has been nominated as the other hominoid species closest toHomo sapiens in terms of handedness. This study aims to scrutinise the 22 accounts of gorillas' hand preferences. Numerous shortcomings exist in the published literature on the topic, so that a firm conclusion is not yet possible. It is not yet clear whether gorillas are right-preferent, left-preferent, or ambi-preferent, and additional data are needed.

Key words

gorilla handedness laterality Gorilla gorilla