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J Hum Evol. 2001 Aug;41(2):141-66.

Locomotor behavior of Lagothrix lagothricha and Ateles belzebuth in Yasuní National Park, Ecuador: general patterns and nonsuspensory modes.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-5067, USA.


Field study of the locomotor behavior of sympatric woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagothricha) and spider monkeys (Ateles belzebuth) in undisturbed rainforest of northern Ecuador revealed similar patterns in use of plant forms (categorized tree and liana structure), and substantial differences in the frequencies of use of different grouped modes (aggregates of kinematically similar specific modes). Lagothrix progressed more than Ateles by leaping/dropping and quadrupedal walking/running, whereas Ateles exhibited more suspensory locomotion. Grouped modes are associated with different plant forms in similar ways in the two species. In contrast, the species differed in use of tree zone (trunk/bole, major branches, intermediate branches, and terminal branches), with Lagothrix using intermediate branches and Ateles terminal branches more. Correlated with this difference was greater use by Lagothrix of quadrupedal movement, especially on intermediate branches, and greater use of suspensory modes by Ateles, especially in the terminal zone. Further research is needed to determine how these patterns are facilitated and constrained by morphological mechanisms. Analysis of specific locomotor modes within groups shows several interspecific differences in relative frequencies.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

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