Forelimb Dexterity of Carnivorans

Overstreet, Adam
The link between forelimb dexterity and the evolution of intelligence is a topic that has had a limited amount of research in the past. This study looked at the link between intelligence, and forelimb dexterity of Carnivorans. Carnivorans provide a perfect subject for the study due to the lack of testing of this order of mammals, along with a very diverse set of organisms in which to focus the study. Carnivorans provide a wide arrange of sizes, as well as different modes of foraging for their food in which provides a good diversity for testing, and primates and carnivores last shared a common ancestor 100 million years ago which would lead to similarities in cognitive abilities coming from convergent evolution. This study looked to test how forelimb dexterity affected individual's success in opening a puzzle box. To look at this data we used a set of videos from a prior study in which 53 species, and 145 individuals attempting to open a puzzle box during a 30 minute trial. This study supported a link between forelimb dexterity and success opening a puzzle box. This study is important when analyzing the evolution of intelligence in the animal world.
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