A hand (med./lat.: manus, pl. manūs) is a prehensile, multi-fingered extremity located at the end of the arm or forelimb of primates such as humans, chimpanzees, monkeys, and lemurs. A few other vertebrates such as the koala (which has two opposable thumbs on each "hand" and fingerprints remarkably similar to human fingerprints) are often described as having either "hands" or "paws" on their front limbs.

Fingers are some of the densest areas of nerve endings on the body, are the richest source of tactile feedback, and have the greatest positioning capability of the body; thus the sense of touch is intimately associated with hands. Like other paired organs (eyes, feet, legs), each hand is dominantly controlled by the opposing brain hemisphere, so that handedness, or the preferred hand choice for single-handed activities such as writing with a pencil, reflects individual brain functioning.

Some evolutionary anatomists use the term hand to refer to the appendage of digits on the forelimb more generally — for example, in the context of whether the three digits of the bird hand involved the same homologous loss of two digits as in the dinosaur hand.

The human hand has five fingers and 27 bones, not including the sesamoid bone, the number of which varies between people, 14 of which are the phalanges (proximal, intermediate and distal) of the fingers. The metacarpals are the bones that connect the fingers and the wrist. Each human hand has five metacarpals and 8 carpal bones. Among humans, the hands play an important function in body language and sign language.


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