So did chimps pioneer the leopard fist?
I thought it was because we were evolved from knuckle walkers..
Wolves also use teeth and size as their threat, and it usually is enough to prevent potentially-damaging fights. They do not go sub-maximal (such as threatening to whack each other with their tails) because that would provide no deterrent.
Humans, to deter attack, have not gone sub-maximal either. The MAD era involved threat of mutual annihilation with nukes, not fists. When our deterrents have historically failed, war was not fought with fists, but with weapons. That is our specialty.
Much of our metabolism is devoted to maintaining the source of our weapon-superiority: our brains. Less, therefore, is available to the maintenance of muscular strength or to the growing of teeth, claws and size. A bear weighing less than you do can rip you to shreds, even if you work out all day and the bear has nothing but pacing a cage a few times for exercise. Human fists, however powerful for a human, would do nothing substantial to the bear. We just aren't built for unarmed combat the way other terrestrial species of similar mass are. As much as the Brock-wannabees in gyms the world over may lament this, we are the nerds of the animal kingdom.
This is why unarmed sport combat among humans is potentially such an entertaining contest: we must use extraordinary levels of skill and training to make up for our physiological shortcomings relative to other animals our size. That said, we are still, in discussing unarmed combat among humans, talking about activities that are mostly either paid entertainment or hobbies. I am not saying there is anything at all wrong with that: it provides considerable exercise and economic benefit, among other things. It is not, however, something that would affect the course of our history as a species. That is the province of armed combat.
If it was so, than untrained people/kids/women etc. would instinctively know how to punch correctly (they use hammer fists at best). Also i thought we established one should be extra careful punching a skull and such so not to brake one's hand, which could be fatal in ancient times.
On a side note, Dos Santos could totally **** up a chimp in a MMA match. ((the chimp can't bite)
The importance of a hand that can grip tools for long hours (farming, hunting, weapons) weighs far more in evolutionary terms than the ability to close a good fist.
That **** is so stupid i keep coming with more arguments.
In ancient times, lets say roman times, there weren't hardly any gentlemen like fist fights. People were armed to the teeth, and like today in rough places, if someone punches someone else down, there is a good chance the other guy is going to come up with a rock or some such..the last man standing is the one to pass down his genes.
I just read the original paper for this nonsense. There is a conclusion that can be drawn from the data collected, and it's this: People punch each other in the face because the fist makes a good weapon. Unfortunately the authors want to conclude that the fist evolved to make a good weapon because people need to punch each other in the face. It's bullshit, like concluding that 100% of American's are awake by calling them, asking if they are awake, and noting that no-one says "no".
If you watch primates, babies, children, and women fight, you'll see that the hammerfist (and hammerslap) are the norm for individuals going on instinct alone (ie, without any training).
...and in adults.
The obvious antecedant to punching is throwing stones (hence the overhand motion of instinctive punching). The paper citesd makes a very big deal about the stabilizing action of proper thumb placement, even though most (if not all) people have to be taught to place their thumb like that. Make a proper fist, and then open your hand as if you were holding a baseball sized stone. Notice how the one grip is the closed grip version of the other? The stability of that position is for another, legit lethal, purpose: throwing fucking rocks.
Remember whenever you are thinking about evoltutionary arguments, that someone has to either live or die, or breed or not, depending on the trait in question. Anything less than that and natural selection is not in play.
Meanwhile, one of the papers cited (the rebuttal) reminds us that some primates--certain species of monkey--have hands more like ours than those of great apes. Despite this, go to any zoo or look at any youtube posting, you'll see monkeys biting, rather than punching, on those occasions where they get pissed off enough to actually fight.
Looking back at the fossil record, those hominids who had developed tools (like present-day chimps and other animals have) still had impressive canine teeth (or beaks in the case of corvids who use tools). That they wouldn't use these, when sufficiently pissed off to stop posturing and actually fight, seems inconceivable. At some point for prehumans, the main weapon would change to something like swung or thrown rocks. That fists would ever be a factor, given that few people know how to properly use them (and no other animals seem to), appears highly unlikely.
If there's any hard evidence that the fist is anything but a marginally-useful structural anomaly, which is virtually unique to our species, I'm certainly not aware of it.