what is the benefit of having a dominant hand/leg as compared to having equally skilled limbs?


what is the benefit of having a dominant hand/leg as compared to having equally skilled limbs?

In: Biology

Most animals don’t have the kind of dexterity we do. I think the more likely case is that as we developed enhanced dexterity and control, one hand was good enough and the mutation that allowed it happened to work out that way. If ambidexterity was a rare/complex mutation to that and/or it didn’t provide a significant advantage to breeding prospects, it wouldn’t develop species wide.

Evolution, despite the “survival of the fittest” line, is more of a race to the good enough.

It takes hours and hours of practice to develop that skill. It takes twice as long to learn it twice, and maintain it on both sides. Animals have preferred sides as well.

It takes less time training and requires less muscle. The benefit of being ambidextrous is relatively small so it’s almost always better to concentrate on making one limb stronger and more skillful.

Compare two people: one with two equally good arms and one person with a dominant arm. Usually the dominant arm will be better than the equally good arms and the advantage that gives is greater than the disadvantage of having a weaker arm.

So, presumably for this reason, people’s brains have evolved to have dominant limbs.

There doesn’t have to be an advantage in order for a feature of anatomy to have arisen through evolution. It just has to be small enough of a disadvantage that it does not hamper survival/reproduction chances.

Humans have many flaws, our breathing holes and food holes are combined, and it results in around 5000 deaths per year in the US due to choking on food. It’s significant, but not enough for it to be an evolutionary disadvantage to the species.

Having a dominant an non-dominant hand is the same kind of deal. It’s just not a significant disadvantage.