Locomotor adaptations within the Cercopithecus Genus: a multivariate approach

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
B J Manaster


Multivariate analysis as a technique for investigating locomotor differentiation among primates has proven its power and usefulness in many studies on various skeletal dimensions. In these analyses primate genera were distributed and sometimes clustered in a manner that was interpretable based on current knowledge of gross locomotor differences. In an effort to advance our understanding of arboreality and terrestriality in primates, the present research involves a careful look for the most subtle morphological differences in locomotor behavior. It is believed that by looking at such subtle shape differences an understanding of what it means morphologically for a primate to be either more or less arboreal may be achieved. The species within the primate genus Cercopithecus were analyzed. This genus includes species which may be placed along a habitat (ground-living to tree-dwelling) or activity spectrum. The different habitats or activity patterns clearly require slight variations in patterns of movement, which in turn may require subtle structural adaptations. Multivariate analyses of 67 postcranial variables on seven species within the genus allowed detection of slight degrees of morphological variation. However, when morpholog...Continue Reading


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