Limb excursion during quadrupedal walking: How do primates compare to other mammals?

Susan G. Larson, Daniel Schmitt, Pierre Lemelin, Mark Hamrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Primate quadrupeds are said to use relatively large limb excursions for mammals of their body size. Until recently, this claim was based on a comparison of hindlimb excursion data derived from small samples of primates and non-primates. Using video recordings collected at zoos and primate research centres, the present study documents this contrast on much wider samples of quadrupedal mammals. The results indicate that while on average hindlimb excursion is relatively larger in quadrupedal primates, this contrast is somewhat less dramatic than first reports suggested. Comparisons between the data reported here and previously collected forelimb excursion data reveal a surprising asymmetry between the fore- and hind excursions for most mammalian species. Most commonly, forelimb excursion exceeds that of the hindlimb. We suggest that this is related to a complementary asymmetry in limb length (forelimbs shorter than hind) for the purpose of achieving equal step lengths for both pairs of limbs. Relatively large hindlimb excursions in primates have been related to a mechanism that reduces stresses on the forelimbs and then recovers mechanical energy during gait. We suggest that large excursions of both the fore- and hindlimbs are linked to other alterations in gait parameters, such as step length, contact time, and limb compliance, that have been adopted in quadrupedal primates to facilitate locomotion along slender arboreal substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Zoology
Volume255
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2001

Fingerprint

walking
limbs (animal)
primate
limb
forelimbs
Primates
mammal
mammals
gait
asymmetry
zoo
locomotion
zoos
compliance
body size
hindlimbs
sampling
substrate
energy

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Forelimb
  • Gait
  • Hindlimb
  • Kinematics
  • Quadrupedal primates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Limb excursion during quadrupedal walking : How do primates compare to other mammals? / Larson, Susan G.; Schmitt, Daniel; Lemelin, Pierre; Hamrick, Mark.

In: Journal of Zoology, Vol. 255, No. 3, 20.11.2001, p. 353-365.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Larson, Susan G. ; Schmitt, Daniel ; Lemelin, Pierre ; Hamrick, Mark. / Limb excursion during quadrupedal walking : How do primates compare to other mammals?. In: Journal of Zoology. 2001 ; Vol. 255, No. 3. pp. 353-365.
@article{ecf5abb0023b49478a9ceac52adaf169,
title = "Limb excursion during quadrupedal walking: How do primates compare to other mammals?",
abstract = "Primate quadrupeds are said to use relatively large limb excursions for mammals of their body size. Until recently, this claim was based on a comparison of hindlimb excursion data derived from small samples of primates and non-primates. Using video recordings collected at zoos and primate research centres, the present study documents this contrast on much wider samples of quadrupedal mammals. The results indicate that while on average hindlimb excursion is relatively larger in quadrupedal primates, this contrast is somewhat less dramatic than first reports suggested. Comparisons between the data reported here and previously collected forelimb excursion data reveal a surprising asymmetry between the fore- and hind excursions for most mammalian species. Most commonly, forelimb excursion exceeds that of the hindlimb. We suggest that this is related to a complementary asymmetry in limb length (forelimbs shorter than hind) for the purpose of achieving equal step lengths for both pairs of limbs. Relatively large hindlimb excursions in primates have been related to a mechanism that reduces stresses on the forelimbs and then recovers mechanical energy during gait. We suggest that large excursions of both the fore- and hindlimbs are linked to other alterations in gait parameters, such as step length, contact time, and limb compliance, that have been adopted in quadrupedal primates to facilitate locomotion along slender arboreal substrates.",
keywords = "Biomechanics, Forelimb, Gait, Hindlimb, Kinematics, Quadrupedal primates",
author = "Larson, {Susan G.} and Daniel Schmitt and Pierre Lemelin and Mark Hamrick",
year = "2001",
month = "11",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1017/S0952836901001455",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "255",
pages = "353--365",
journal = "Journal of Zoology",
issn = "0952-8369",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Limb excursion during quadrupedal walking

T2 - How do primates compare to other mammals?

AU - Larson, Susan G.

AU - Schmitt, Daniel

AU - Lemelin, Pierre

AU - Hamrick, Mark

PY - 2001/11/20

Y1 - 2001/11/20

N2 - Primate quadrupeds are said to use relatively large limb excursions for mammals of their body size. Until recently, this claim was based on a comparison of hindlimb excursion data derived from small samples of primates and non-primates. Using video recordings collected at zoos and primate research centres, the present study documents this contrast on much wider samples of quadrupedal mammals. The results indicate that while on average hindlimb excursion is relatively larger in quadrupedal primates, this contrast is somewhat less dramatic than first reports suggested. Comparisons between the data reported here and previously collected forelimb excursion data reveal a surprising asymmetry between the fore- and hind excursions for most mammalian species. Most commonly, forelimb excursion exceeds that of the hindlimb. We suggest that this is related to a complementary asymmetry in limb length (forelimbs shorter than hind) for the purpose of achieving equal step lengths for both pairs of limbs. Relatively large hindlimb excursions in primates have been related to a mechanism that reduces stresses on the forelimbs and then recovers mechanical energy during gait. We suggest that large excursions of both the fore- and hindlimbs are linked to other alterations in gait parameters, such as step length, contact time, and limb compliance, that have been adopted in quadrupedal primates to facilitate locomotion along slender arboreal substrates.

AB - Primate quadrupeds are said to use relatively large limb excursions for mammals of their body size. Until recently, this claim was based on a comparison of hindlimb excursion data derived from small samples of primates and non-primates. Using video recordings collected at zoos and primate research centres, the present study documents this contrast on much wider samples of quadrupedal mammals. The results indicate that while on average hindlimb excursion is relatively larger in quadrupedal primates, this contrast is somewhat less dramatic than first reports suggested. Comparisons between the data reported here and previously collected forelimb excursion data reveal a surprising asymmetry between the fore- and hind excursions for most mammalian species. Most commonly, forelimb excursion exceeds that of the hindlimb. We suggest that this is related to a complementary asymmetry in limb length (forelimbs shorter than hind) for the purpose of achieving equal step lengths for both pairs of limbs. Relatively large hindlimb excursions in primates have been related to a mechanism that reduces stresses on the forelimbs and then recovers mechanical energy during gait. We suggest that large excursions of both the fore- and hindlimbs are linked to other alterations in gait parameters, such as step length, contact time, and limb compliance, that have been adopted in quadrupedal primates to facilitate locomotion along slender arboreal substrates.

KW - Biomechanics

KW - Forelimb

KW - Gait

KW - Hindlimb

KW - Kinematics

KW - Quadrupedal primates

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034759687&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034759687&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0952836901001455

DO - 10.1017/S0952836901001455

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0034759687

VL - 255

SP - 353

EP - 365

JO - Journal of Zoology

JF - Journal of Zoology

SN - 0952-8369

IS - 3

ER -