Early development of locomotor behavior in vervet monkeys

Joel A. Vilensky, Eva Gankiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


The locomotor development of three vervet infants across approximately the first 2 months of life is described. Fairly normal‐looking walking movements (as compared to adults) were seen in all the animals by approximately 1 month of age and galloping was observed by 2 months. Early locomotor footfall patterns were often aberrant and bounding‐type gaits were sometimes exhibited. Most of the symmetrical gaits observed were classifiable as lateral sequence. Across the 2‐month period the animals showed decreased three‐ and four‐foot support and improvements in joint angular displacement patterns. From their earliest locomotor movements the infants showed significant linear relationship between both cycle duration and swing and stance durations of the limbs. We suggest that locomotor control mechanisms are probably fairly mature at birth but that weight support and postural control problems explain the initial locomotor difficulties exhibited by these infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-25
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989


  • footfall patterns
  • gaits
  • locomotor development
  • primates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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