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Biology/If humans had 3 fingers instead of 5

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Question
Turian Hand
Turian Hand  
Hi! I was playing a scifi video game known as ''Mass Effect'' and most alien species possess 3 fingers and it got me to wonder that would life be any different for humans with 3 fingers instead of 5 because we rarely even use our ring or pinky fingers? Would anything asides from typing be more difficult for us? I have attached an image of the hand of a Turian which is a species in Mass Effect. So could you also tell some advantages and disadvantages a Turian hand would have to a human hand?

Answer
Hi Mika
The most important aspect of the hand is an opposable thumb. Primates have opposable thumbs and from your drawing it appears the three fingered Turian hand does also.
Without a thumb we could have no technology and we could not build anything. Without using your thumb take a screwdriver in you hand and try to turn a screw. (The ability ,by the way ,to turn a screw also depends upon the lower arm bones that rotate over each other so we can turn our arm from the elbow down). Try to pick up something without using your thumb.
From an aesthetic standpoint we would have no great art or music. Not only are musical instruments designed for use with thumbs but without thumbs we could not even make them.
 I can see no advantage of the Turian hand over a Human hand.
 So you could lose your pinky and ring fingers and get along as long as you still have an opposable thumb

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Walter Hintz

Expertise

Science teacher for over 50 years. MSc. in biology. I can answer questions in general biology, zoology, botany, anatomy and physiology and biochemistry.

Experience

I have a MSc in biology and have been a science teacher for over 50 years. At present I am a faculty member at a college and a science consultant at seven catholic schools.

Publications
The Ohio journal of Science
Momentum-The Journal of the Catholic Education Association

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