10 Animals With Opposable Thumbs

Some animals with opposable thumbs aside from humans include gorillas, chameleons, chimpanzees, pandas, monkeys, possums, lemurs, lorises, and certain frog species. This unique trait helps them in tasks like climbing, grasping objects, and sometimes using tools.

Our world is full of fascinating creatures, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Just like humans, there are other animals with opposable thumbs that help them manipulate objects in a way some animals can’t. Let’s take a look at 10 animals with opposable thumbs.

1. Humans

Humans, of course, are the most well-known species with opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs give us the ability to grip and hold objects, which is an essential part of our daily lives.

Without opposable thumbs, we would not be able to use tools, write, or even eat. This evolutionary adaptation has allowed us to become one of the most dominant species on Earth.

2. Gorillas

Gorillas are one of the closest living relatives of humans, as they share about 98% of our DNA. Not surprisingly, gorillas also have opposable thumbs, which they use to climb trees and grasp branches.

Thanks to their opposable thumbs, gorillas can use tools such as sticks and rocks to gather food. They also utilize this physical feature for social interaction.

3. Chameleons

Chameleons, renowned for their color-changing abilities, also possess opposable thumbs. This unique adaptation aids them in securely gripping branches and twigs.

Even when hanging upside down, their thumb grip ensures stability. This not only facilitates their climbing but also provides an advantage in their arboreal habitats.

4. Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are the closest relatives of humans, sharing almost 99% of our DNA. Like gorillas, chimpanzees also have opposable thumbs, which they use for many of the same purposes, such as climbing trees and grasping branches. They also utilize this feature to process food by making use of tools.

5. Pandas

Pandas, one of the cutest animals in the world, are also one of the few animals with opposable thumbs. Unlike other bears, giant pandas have a unique structure on their forepaws that act as opposable thumbs.

Pandas use it to grip and tear the bamboo, which is their main food source. They also use opposable thumbs to climb trees and groom themselves.

6. Monkeys

Several monkey species, like capuchin, tamarin, and woolly monkey, boast opposable thumbs. These primates utilize this adaptation for efficient tree climbing and branch swinging. The thumb grip also enhances their dexterity, aiding in food manipulation and consumption. Such an evolutionary feature ensures their adaptability and survival in diverse habitats.

7. Possums

Possums are small, furry marsupials that are native to Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia. These animals have opposable thumbs on their hind feet, which they use to help them climb trees and grasp branches. Possums are one of the very few non-primate animals that have opposable thumbs on their hind feet.

8. Lemurs

Lemurs, native to Madagascar, are small primates with physical similarities to monkeys and apes. Equipped with opposable thumbs, they adeptly climb trees and capture insects. This evolutionary adaptation enhances their dexterity, enabling tight grips on branches, especially when leaping between trees in their forested habitats.

9. Loris

Lorises are a type of primate that is closely related to lemurs. They are native to Africa, Asia, and the Indonesian Island of Java. Some species of this animal are known for being the only venomous mammals in the world. Lorises also have opposable thumbs, which they use to move through trees, catch prey, and scent-mark their territories.

10. Some Frogs

Frogs are amphibians that are found on all continents except for Antarctica. They have many unique features, such as the ability to jump long distances and breathe through their skin.

Very few species of frogs have opposable thumbs, which sets them apart from other amphibians. Most frogs with opposable thumbs are arboreal frogs that usually live in trees and are excellent climbers.


As you can see, there are many different animals with opposable thumbs. This unique trait allows these animals to climb trees, catch prey, and even use tools. The next time you see an animal with an opposable thumb, you’ll know that it’s a special creature indeed. Thanks for reading!