The chela-hand is a type of limb, which is like a chela, except that the moveable finger has multiple sub-fingers, and is more like a hand. The creature that has the chela-hand was originally an arboreal animal that moves through brachiation, with the chela-hands being used to grab onto branches, like in apes with the chela part providing extra grip. They then evolved into a creature that uses the chela-hand for manipulation. Would this sort of limb work for brachiation and manipulation?

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    $\begingroup$ So a human-type hand, which is facing a rigid, claw-like appendage(what you call the "finger")? It would improve grip and strength application a lot. It would impede detail work immensely. Imagine working at a table, with that! $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Jun 5, 2021 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't it a bit problematic having an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton on the same creature? $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2021 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ @ARogueAnt. It only has an endoskeleton $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2021 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ @IchthysKing in which case we will need a much more detailed description than "the moveable finger has multiple sub-fingers, and is more like a hand." $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Jun 6, 2021 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ Um, so the finger is rigid and large, while the hand is small and flexible? A rose by any other name... $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Jan 26, 2022 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest "yes" — but I'm making a LOT of assumptions about your question, which lacks a massive amount of detail.

I'm going to assume that you're replacing, for example, the human thumb with a chela. In other words, rather than being jointed and covered in supple flesh, it's rigid and slick.

Would that work? Frankly, it would. Not nearly as well as a thumb would, but it would work. Combined with fingers it would provide leverage for grabbing and holding onto things.

The slick nature of a chela is a detriment as it forces the fingers to create all the friction. But still.

I vote that the configuration, if I have imagined it correctly, will work.


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