Why are the lengths the way they are with middle finger the longest?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm no expert but the relative length of fingers perhaps represents functional significance. It's always helpful in the question to mention what you have found on the topic so far so people can have a constructive input/answer. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2014 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


When you bend your fingers, they all arrive at the same height. I would tend to think that their lengths differ when you keep them straight because they need to have similar length when you bend them. And I guess that there is some optimal length (when bended) for fingers to grasp things.

It is nothing but a quick hypothesis. But it sounds quite plausible to me.

As @JordiZambrino commented, it is possible also that middle fingers evolved to be longer in reaction for the need for throwing things.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Very interesting angle. Never thought of this. Thank you for your answer. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2014 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ with the middle finger, I read somewhere that hominid lineage began when a group of apes began to throw rocks at their antagonists/rivals, and that this behaviour provided procreative advantages for a long time, and thus driving natural selection for improved throwing. Also, I think that the hand grip was/is vital and that a longer central finger is biophysically helpful. $\endgroup$
    – Ebbinghaus
    May 6, 2016 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ This is interesting. I'll add your comment to the answer. Would be great if you could find the reference. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    May 6, 2016 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Remi.b I'll try to find the reference. $\endgroup$
    – Ebbinghaus
    May 6, 2016 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Remi.b I'm leaving a citation notice on this 5 year old post due to it getting new traffic from this post. If you can, please update with a bit more referenced substance if you've learned or explored this topic further since posting your answer. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Nov 30, 2019 at 18:26

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