Structural adaptations of the femur and humerus to arboreal and terrestrial environments in three species of macaque

David Burr, C. B. Ruff, C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One reason to measure cross-sectional structural properties of primate long bones is to define mechanically relevant complexes of traits that describe the adaptation of bone to different biomechanical environments. This can be effectively accomplished when congeneric species having different postural and locomotor behaviors are compared. This paper compares the cross-sectional geometry of the femur and humerus in three behaviorally different macaque species as a basis for defining such patterns. Cross-sectional moments of inertia in the standard anatomical planes were calculated at five locations along the diaphyses of the femur and humerus in Macaca fascicularis, M. nemestrina, and M. mulatta. The data suggest that the 'barrel-shaped' femur is associated with behaviors for which long limbs and small body size are an asset. This may be associated with, but is not restricted to, leaping behaviors. The data also suggest that structural rigidity of the femur and humerus is greater per unit body weight in primates that spend significant amounts of time in terrestrial environments than in those that are more restricted to climbing in arboreal environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-367
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume79
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

humerus
Humerus
Macaca
femur
Femur
Primates
rigidity
bones
body weight
Macaca nemestrina
Bone and Bones
Diaphyses
Macaca fascicularis
assets
Body Size
Macaca mulatta
limbs (animal)
mathematics
Extremities
body size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

Cite this

Structural adaptations of the femur and humerus to arboreal and terrestrial environments in three species of macaque. / Burr, David; Ruff, C. B.; Johnson, C.

In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 79, No. 3, 1989, p. 357-367.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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