1. People aren’t the only animals with opposable thumbs. Chimps, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans have them, too. They’re our closest relatives in the animal world.
2. Most of the monkeys in Africa and Asia have opposable thumbs and big toes. Monkeys in Central and South America have only opposable big toes, so their hands can’t grip, grab, or grasp like yours.
3. Which body part takes the most brain power to control? It’s not your heart or your lungs. It’s your thumbs.
4. As your hands push, pull, pinch, and poke, nearly 35,000 sensors in your skin collect information about the outside world. Each one is at the tip of a long, stringy nerve that carries messages to your brain.
5. When you talk to people, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on their hands. When people keep their hands open, with the palms up, they feel friendly and are probably telling the truth. If people hide their hands or have their palms down, they could be lying. Or they might be feeling angry or worried. And if you see a clenched fist . . . RUN!
Looking for more Gross and Goofy Body facts? Check out my book Give Me a Hand: The Secrets of Hands, Feet, Arms, and Legs. It’s full of weird, wacky, strange, and surprising information about your body and the bodies of other animals.