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Am J Phys Anthropol. 2000 Feb;111(2):245-62.

Cineradiographic study of forelimb movements during quadrupedal walking in the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus, Primates: Lemuridae).

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Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie mit Museum, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, D-07743 Jena, Germany.


Movements of forelimb joints and segments during walking in the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus) were analyzed using cineradiography (150 frames/sec). Metric gait parameters, forelimb kinematics, and intralimb coordination are described. Calculation of contribution of segment displacements to stance propulsion shows that scapular retroversion in a fulcrum near the vertebral border causes more than 60% of propulsion. The contribution by the shoulder joint is 30%, elbow joint 5%, and wrist joint 1%. Correlation analysis was applied to reveal the interdependency between metric and kinematic parameters. Only the effective angular movement of the elbow joint during stance is speed-dependent. Movements of all other forelimb joints and segments are independent of speed and influence, mainly, linear gait parameters (stride length, stance length). Perhaps the most important result is the hitherto unknown and unexpected degree of scapular mobility. Scapular movements consist of ante-/retroversion, adduction/abduction, and scapular rotation about the longitudinal axis. Inside rotation of the scapula (60 degrees -70 degrees ), together with flexion in the shoulder joint, mediates abduction of the humerus, which is not achieved in the shoulder joint, and is therefore strikingly different from humeral abduction in man. Movements of the shoulder joint are restricted to flexion and extension. At touch down, the shoulder joint of the brown lemur is more extended compared to that of other small mammals. The relatively long humerus and forearm, characteristic for primates, are thus effectively converted into stride length. Observed asymmetries in metric and kinematic behavior of the left and right forelimb are caused by an unequal lateral bending of the spinal column.

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