Humeral cross-sectional shape in suspensory primates and sloths.

Biren A. Patel, Christopher B. Ruff, Erin L.R. Simons, Jason Organ

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies on the cross-sectional geometry of long bones in African apes have documented that shape ratios derived from second moments of area about principle axes (e.g., Imax /Imin ) are often correlated with habitual locomotor behaviors. For example, humeral cross-sections tend to appear more circular in more arboreal and forelimb suspensory chimpanzees compared with terrestrial quadrupedal gorillas. These data support the hypothesis that cross-sections that are more circular in shape are adapted for multidirectional loading regimes and bending moments encountered when using acrobatic locomotor behaviors. Whether a more circular humerus reflects greater use of forelimb suspension in other primates and nonprimate mammals is unknown. In this study, cross-sections at or near midshaft of the humerus were obtained from anthropoid primates that differ in their use of forelimb suspension, as well as from two genera of suspensory sloths. Imax /Imin ratios were compared within and between groups, and correlations were made with behavioral data. In broad comparisons, observed differences in morphology follow predicted patterns. Humeri of suspensory sloths are circular. Humeri of the more suspensory hominoids tend to be more circular than those of quadrupedal taxa. Humeri of the suspensory atelines are similar to hominoids, while those of Cebus are more like nonsuspensory cercopithecoids. There is, however, considerable overlap between taxa and within finer comparisons variation between species are not in the predicted direction. Thus, although Imax /Imin ratios of the humerus are informative for characterizing generalized locomotor modes (i.e., forelimb suspensory vs. quadrupedal), additional structural information is needed for more fine-grained assessments of locomotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-556
Number of pages12
JournalUnknown Journal
Volume296
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Sloths
humerus
Humerus
primate
Primates
Forelimb
cross section
forelimbs
locomotion
Hominidae
bone
Suspensions
mammal
Cebus
Gorilla gorilla
geometry
Pan troglodytes
Gorilla
Pongidae
Locomotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Biotechnology
  • Histology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Patel, B. A., Ruff, C. B., Simons, E. L. R., & Organ, J. (2013). Humeral cross-sectional shape in suspensory primates and sloths. Unknown Journal, 296(4), 545-556.

Humeral cross-sectional shape in suspensory primates and sloths. / Patel, Biren A.; Ruff, Christopher B.; Simons, Erin L.R.; Organ, Jason.

In: Unknown Journal, Vol. 296, No. 4, 01.01.2013, p. 545-556.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Patel, BA, Ruff, CB, Simons, ELR & Organ, J 2013, 'Humeral cross-sectional shape in suspensory primates and sloths.', Unknown Journal, vol. 296, no. 4, pp. 545-556.
Patel BA, Ruff CB, Simons ELR, Organ J. Humeral cross-sectional shape in suspensory primates and sloths. Unknown Journal. 2013 Jan 1;296(4):545-556.
Patel, Biren A. ; Ruff, Christopher B. ; Simons, Erin L.R. ; Organ, Jason. / Humeral cross-sectional shape in suspensory primates and sloths. In: Unknown Journal. 2013 ; Vol. 296, No. 4. pp. 545-556.
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