Manus (anatomy)

The manus (Latin for hand) is the zoological term for the distal portion of the fore limb of an animal. In tetrapods, it is the part of the pentadactyl limb that includes the metacarpals and digits (phalanges). During evolution, it has taken many forms and served a variety of functions. It can be represented by the hand of primates, the lower front limb of hoofed animals or the fore paw and is represented in the wing of birds, bats and prehistoric flying reptiles (pterosaurs), the flipper of marine mammals and the 'paddle' of extinct marine reptiles, such as plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs.

In cephalopods, the manus is the end, broader part of a tentacle, and its suckers are often larger and arranged differently from those on the other arms.[1]

Cricetus cricetus front foot
Manus of a rodent, Eurasian hamster Cricetus cricetus

See also

  • Pes (anatomy) – the distal portion of the hind limb of tetrapod animals


  1. ^ Prof. R.L.Kotpal (2009). Modern Text Book of Zoology: Vertebrates. Meerut, New Delhi, India: Rastogi Publications. ISBN 81-7133-891-7. Archived from the original on 2016-05-09.

A hand is a prehensile, multi-fingered appendage located at the end of the forearm 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 extremely similar to human fingerprints) are often described as having "hands" instead of paws on their front limbs. The raccoon is usually described as having "hands" though opposable thumbs are lacking.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 normally has five digits: four fingers plus one thumb; these are often referred to collectively as five fingers, however, whereby the thumb is included as one of the fingers. It has 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 and thumb. The metacarpal bones connect the fingers and the carpal bones of the wrist. Each human hand has five metacarpals and eight carpal bones.

Fingers contain some of the densest areas of nerve endings in the body, and are the richest source of tactile feedback. They also 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—the preferred hand choice for single-handed activities such as writing with a pencil, reflects individual brain functioning.

Among humans, the hands play an important function in body language and sign language. Likewise the ten digits of two hands, and the twelve phalanges of four fingers (touchable by the thumb) have given rise to number systems and calculation techniques.


Manus may refer to:

Manus (anatomy), the zoological term for the distal portion of the forelimb of an animal (including the human hand)

Manus marriage, a type of marriage during Roman times

Manus Plate, a tiny tectonic plate northeast of New Guinea

Manus Province, in Papua New Guinea

Manus Island, region of Manus Province

Manus languages, a subgroup of the Eastern Admiralty Islands languages

Manus Regional Processing Centre, an offshore Australian immigration detention facility in Manus Province

Manus Boonjumnong (born 1980), Thai Olympic medalist

Manus Kelly, Irish businessman and rally driver

Max Manus (1914–1996), Norwegian resistance fighter during World War II

Willard Manus (born 1930), American novelist

Dirk Manus, fictional smuggler among human characters of The Transformers franchise

Outline of dinosaurs

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to dinosaurs:

Dinosaurs – diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period (about 230 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceous (66 million years ago), when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of all non-avian dinosaurs at the close of the Mesozoic era.

The fossil record indicates that birds evolved within theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic period. Some of them survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, including the ancestors of all modern birds. Consequently, in modern classification systems, birds are considered dinosaurs—the only group which survived to the present day. The outline of birds covers these avian dinosaurs.

Pes (anatomy)

The pes (Latin for foot) is the zoological term for the distal portion of the hind limb of tetrapod animals. It is the part of the pentadactyl limb that includes the metatarsals and digits (phalanges). During evolution, it has taken many forms and served a variety of functions. It can be represented by the foot of primates, the lower hind limb of hoofed animals, the lower portion of the leg of birds and dinosaurs or the rear paw. It is also represented in the rear 'paddle' of extinct marine reptiles, such as plesiosaurs. The oldest types of tetrapods had seven or eight digits.

Cephalopod anatomy
Mantle and funnel
Head and limbs


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