One of the major difference between humans, some primates and other mammals is that they have nails instead of claws. Since a long time the scientists have been trying to find out the history of this transition. As per a fossil evidence, the ancient primates especially “Teilhardinabrandti”, possess specialized grooming claws and nails.
This finding has proved wrong the assumption that the early primates had nails. As a result it can be said that the evolution from claws to nails was not as simple as it was expected to be. One of the finding that came to the fore front was that why the ancestors of monkeys did, apes and humans lose their grooming claws? The answer to this came out to be that it happened because of each other. They lost their grooming claws due to very critical social networks and enhanced grooming claw. In 2013, Boyer was at the University of California Museum of Paleontology, where he discovered several curious primate fossils. These fossils were distal phalanges which are the bones at the tips of fingers and toes, from omomyoids. The shape of these bones show whether they can support a claw or nail. As a result of the study conducted, they observed that the transition away from claws could have mirrored changes in primate movement. In activities such as climbing, leaping and ramping, nails have proved to be more helpful than claws. Grooming claws have come up as being extremely significant, alongside they help in providing important details concerning ancient primates.
By: Anuja Arora