The natural history of the forearm started in water within the fins of some Devonian fishes. Some 385 million years later, through amazing adaptations, the forearm bones allowed the tetrapods world to colonize every other kinds of biotopes on Earth.
Initially devoted to locomotion in amphibians, birds and reptiles, the forearm develops more ambitiously in the mammalian lineage. Adopting first an upright limb posture and bipedalism thereafter, the Hominidae forelimb acquires an extreme range of pro-supination and can be dedicated to other tasks, including tool making and handling.
By developing unconstrained joints at the elbow and wrist level, as well as more and more specialized soft tissues like the triangular fibrocartilage complex, the human forearm reaches the most sophisticated compromise between strength, mobility and stability and becomes the hand's greatest ally.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.