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Hand and foot pressures in the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) reveal novel biomechanical trade-offs required for walking on gracile digits.

dc.contributor.author Kivell, TL
dc.contributor.author Schmitt, Daniel Oliver
dc.contributor.author Wunderlich, RE
dc.coverage.spatial England
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-21T17:27:36Z
dc.date.issued 2010-05
dc.identifier http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20400640
dc.identifier 213/9/1549
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10161/4193
dc.description.abstract Arboreal animals with prehensile hands must balance the complex demands of bone strength, grasping and manipulation. An informative example of this problem is that of the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a rare lemuriform primate that is unusual in having exceptionally long, gracile fingers specialized for foraging. In addition, they are among the largest primates to engage in head-first descent on arboreal supports, a posture that should increase loads on their gracile digits. We test the hypothesis that aye-ayes will reduce pressure on their digits during locomotion by curling their fingers off the substrate. This hypothesis was tested using simultaneous videographic and pressure analysis of the hand, foot and digits for five adult aye-ayes during horizontal locomotion and during ascent and descent on a 30 degrees instrumented runway. Aye-ayes consistently curled their fingers during locomotion on all slopes. When the digits were in contact with the substrate, pressures were negligible and significantly less than those experienced by the palm or pedal digits. In addition, aye-ayes lifted their hands vertically off the substrate instead of 'toeing-off' and descended head-first at significantly slower speeds than on other slopes. Pressure on the hand increased during head-first descent relative to horizontal locomotion but not as much as the pressure increased on the foot during ascent. This distribution of pressure suggests that aye-ayes shift their weight posteriorly during head-first descent to reduce loads on their gracile fingers. This research demonstrates several novel biomechanical trade-offs to deal with complex functional demands on the mammalian skeleton.
dc.language eng
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.relation.ispartof J Exp Biol
dc.relation.isversionof 10.1242/jeb.040014
dc.subject Animals
dc.subject Biomechanical Phenomena
dc.subject Foot
dc.subject Hand
dc.subject Posture
dc.subject Strepsirhini
dc.subject Walking
dc.title Hand and foot pressures in the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) reveal novel biomechanical trade-offs required for walking on gracile digits.
dc.title.alternative
dc.type Journal article
dc.description.version Version of Record
duke.date.pubdate 2010-5-1
duke.description.issue 9
duke.description.volume 213
dc.relation.journal Journal of Experimental Biology
pubs.author-url http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20400640
pubs.begin-page 1549
pubs.end-page 1557
pubs.issue Pt 9
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Evolutionary Anthropology
pubs.organisational-group Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
pubs.publication-status Published
pubs.volume 213
dc.identifier.eissn 1477-9145


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