Segmental morphometrics of the olive baboon (<i>Papio anubis</i>): a longitudinal study from birth to adulthood

Druelle, Francois, Aerts, Peter, D'Aout, Kristiaan ORCID: 0000-0002-6043-7744, Moulin, Valerie and Berillon, Gilles
(2017) Segmental morphometrics of the olive baboon (<i>Papio anubis</i>): a longitudinal study from birth to adulthood. JOURNAL OF ANATOMY, 230 (6). pp. 805-819.

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The linear dimensions and inertial characteristics of the body are important in locomotion and they change considerably during the ontogeny of animals, including humans. This longitudinal and ontogenetic study has produced the largest dataset to date of segmental morphometrics in a Catarrhini species, the olive baboon. The objectives of the study were to quantify the changes in body linear and inertial dimensions and to explore their (theoretical) mechanical significance for locomotion. We took full-body measurements of captive individuals at regular intervals. Altogether, 14 females and 16 males were followed over a 7-year period, i.e. from infancy to adulthood. Our results show that individual patterns of growth are very consistent and follow the general growth pattern previously described in olive baboons. Furthermore, we obtained similar growth curve structures for segment lengths and masses, although the respective time scales were slightly different. The most significant changes in body morphometrics occurred during the first 2 years of life and concerned the distal parts of the body. Females and males were similar in size and shape at birth. The rate and duration of growth produced substantial size-related differences throughout ontogeny, while body shapes remained very similar between the sexes. We also observed significant age-related variations in limb composition, with a proximal shift of the centre of mass within the limbs, mainly due to changes in mass distribution and in the length of distal segments. Finally, we observed what we hypothesize to be 'early biomechanical optimization' of the limbs for quadrupedal walking. This is due to a high degree of convergence between the limbs' natural pendular periods in infants, which may facilitate the onset of quadrupedal walking. Furthermore, the mechanical significance of the morphological changes observed in growing baboons may be related to changing functional demands with the onset of autonomous (quadrupedal) locomotion. From a wider perspective, these data provide unique insights into questions surrounding both the processes of locomotor development in primates and how these processes might evolve.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: development, inertial properties, locomotion, Papio anubis, primate model
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2017 09:19
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 22:45
DOI: 10.1111/joa.12602
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