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Special issue: Comparative Functional Morphology in Primates

Hamada, Y., Hirasaki, E., Rae, T.C.

Functional Morphology (FM) has been one of the most effective tools in the study of human and non-human primate evolution. Investigations have been conducted within this discipline for more than 100 years. There have been murmurs recently, however, over its contemporary relevance and effectiveness. Given its age, it could be argued that FM is far from the frontiers of biological science, but is it so far behind the times as to be irrelevant? The answer is absolutely "No". With advances in recent methodologies, such as micro-computed tomography (u-CT), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), motion analysis and high fidelity simulation, FM has entered a new phase. For example, new equipment enables us to observe the internal structures and/or composition of the body or skeleton (e.g., trabecular bone conformation) without destroying the specimens. Similarly, progress in motion analysis has enabled precise measurement of diversity of motion in more natural conditions, such that various aspects of primate behavior can be analyzed, not only in the laboratory, but also in zoo enclosures or wild habitats. Far from being outmoded, FM is now undergoing such a large-scale evolution that it can be called a paradigm shift, engaging with such diverse aspects of the biology of primates as ecology, physiology, cognition, phylogeny, palaeontology, welfare and conservation. To explore these new areas of research, the organizers invited a number of researchers in this discipline to the cathedral town of Durham, U.K., for a symposium entitled "Comparative Functional Morphology in Primates." Held as a post-Congress workshop of the 2008 International Primatological Society conference in Edinburgh, 22 oral and 6 poster presentations were offered by over 50 participants from North America, EU countries, and Asia. Attendees exchanged knowledge (methodologies, resources, and results) and ideas to further advance FM in understanding adaptive aspects of primate evolution. The participants, working at the frontiers of FM, are seeking to understand primate evolution from diverse points of view. We offer a number of their works here. Contents: - Comparative Functional Morphology in Primates: An Introduction to the Special Issue. (Hamada Y, Hirasaki E and Rae TC) - Bipedal versus Quadrupedal Hind Limb and Foot Kinematics in a Captive Sample of Papio anubis: Setup and Preliminary Results. (Berillon G, Daver G, D'Aout K, Nicolas G, de la Villetanet B, Multon F, Digrandi G and Dubreuil G) - Palmar and Plantar Pressure While Walking on a Horizontal Ladder and Single Pole in Macaca fuscata. (Higurashi Y, Hirasaki E and Kumakura H. - Distal Forelimb Kinematics in Erythrocebus patas and Papio anubis During Walking and Galloping. (Patel BA and Polk JD) - Is the Clavicle of Apes Long? An Investigation of Clavicular Length in Relation to Body Mass and Upper Thoracic Width. (Kagaya M, Ogihara N and Nakatsukasa M) - Cross-Sectional Morphology of the Femoral Neck of Wild Chimpanzees. (Matsumura A, Gunji H, Takahashi Y, Nishida T and Okada M) - Estimating the Functional Axis of the Primate Foot Using the Distribution of Plantar Muscles. (Hirasaki E and Kumakura H) - A Method for Quantifying Articular Surface Morphology of Metacarpals Using Quadric Surface Approximation. (Matsuura Y, Ogihara N and Nakatsukasa M) - Subchondral Bone Apparent Density and Locomotor Behavior in Extant Primates and Subfossil Lemurs Hadropithecus and Pachylemur. (Polk JD, Williams SA, Peterson JV, Roseman CC and Godfrey LR) - Functional Analysis of the Primate Shoulder. (Preuschoft H, Hohn B, Scherf H, Schmidt M, Krause C and Witzel U) - Evolutionary Robotic Approaches in Primate Gait Analysis. (Sellers WI, Pataky TC, Caravaggi P and Crompton RH)

International Journal of Primatlogy 31(2)


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