As part of my reading around drawing I have wandered off a bit and looked up some stuff on the evolution of the precision grip of the human hand. The wikipedia entry on THUMB is pretty good and refers to a 1981 book review in the New York Times of John Napiers book Hands (Review HERE).
John Napier was quite a character; he worked with Louis Leakey in Olduvai gorge discovering an early Homind Homo habilis in 1960, he refuted the evidence of Big Foot and he also specialised in hands. Here is a nice paper on the difference between the precision and power grip of the human hand (Napier, John Russell (November 1956). "The prehensile movements of the human hand". J Bone Joint Surg Br 38 (4): 902–913.PMID 13376678.)