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Am J Phys Anthropol. 1985 Aug;67(4):335-49.

Mechanics of increased support of weight by the hindlimbs in primates.


Quadrupedal primates support most of their weight on their hindlimbs during locomotion. Neither the position of their center of gravity nor the average position of their foot contacts is substantially different from that of other quadrupeds supporting most of their weight on their forelimbs. Arguments are presented to support the theory that high levels of hindlimb retractor activity will produce this shift of support to the hindlimbs. If this muscular activity is appropriately timed, it will generate only low horizontal accelerations, which can be offset by small changes in the average position of the limbs. Estimates of muscular force are derived from force plate and kinematic data, which indicate that primates in fact do exhibit the postulated pattern of muscular activity. It is suggested that this shift occurs to reduce the compressive forces on the forelimbs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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