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Am J Phys Anthropol. 1983 Aug;61(4):483-94.

Aging in the musculoskeletal system of rhesus monkeys: I. Passive joint excursion.


In order to describe ontogenetic change in the musculoskeletal system of rhesus monkeys, 126 Macaca mulatta from Cayo Santiago, ranging in age from 7 months to 21 years, were examined under anesthesia. Passive joint excursions were measured at the wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, and knee. Mean ranges of excursion at these joints differed significantly between age groups and by sex. The potential for most movements appeared to decrease approximately 25 degrees over the first two decades of the macaque life span, and males generally showed less potential for movement than females in all age groups. These results are similar to those obtained for humans and are consistent with patterns of positional behavior, trauma, and osteoarthritis observed in this rhesus monkey population. Thus, to fully describe the locomotor strategy of rhesus monkeys, age- and sex-related variation in locomotor anatomy and functional capacity must be considered.

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