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Ann Anat. 2001 Mar;183(2):181-4.

Radial sesamoid bone as a part of the manipulation system in the lesser panda (Ailurus fulgens).

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  • 1Department of Zoology, National Science Museum, Tokyo, Japan.


The well-developed radial sesamoid bone presented a rod-like shape in the lesser panda. It could be separated into two components: (1) an ulnar cartilaginous, (2) a radial osseous part. The radial sesamoid bone was connected with four elements as follows: (1) the tendon of the M. abductor pollicis longus, (2) M. abductor pollicis brevis and M. opponens pollicis, (3) Aponeurosis palmaris, and (4) Flexor retinaculum. The bone made no articulation with the first metacarpal. The movement of the radial sesamoid bone may be controlled by the connecting muscles and muscle-related structures. It is suggested that the bone acts as a supporting ridge in the gripping action in the lesser panda. However, we suggest that the grasping mechanism is obviously different from that of the giant panda, in which the radial sesamoid bone is connected strongly with the first metacarpal.

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