, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 223-240

Kinematic Analysis of Trunk-to-trunk Leaping in Callimico goeldii

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Leaping to and from vertical trunks is a pattern of locomotor behavior that characterizes the positional repertoire of several prosimian and neotropical primate species. We examined the kinematics of leaping in a group of 6 captive Goeldi’s monkeys. We introduced a set of 2 wooden, fixed, non-compliant vertical supports in their enclosure and used 2 video cameras set at right angles to document leaping. The supports are 2.5, 6, or 15 cm in diameter and were placed at distances of between 1 and 2 m. We conducted frame-by-frame analyses of 122 leaps. The results indicate that irrespective of distance leaped and the diameter of takeoff and landing substrates, the forelimbs of {Callimico} contacted the landing platform in advance of the hind limbs. Moreover, even when leaping a horizontal distance of 2 m, {Callimico} experienced a downward vertical displacement of only 0.17 m. Several features of the shoulder and forelimb of {Callimico} appear to be associated with enhanced stability at the humeral head and radioulnar joint, and are consistent with the ability to withstand large compressive forces generated when landing on noncompliant substrates. Based on a series of kinematic equations provided by Warren and Crompton (1998a), the mechanical cost of transport in {Callimico} (5.4 m/s−2) is greater than those of prosimian vertical clingers and leapers. However, compared to other callitrichine primates, {Callimico goeldii} is behaviorally and anatomically specialized for leaping between vertical trunks in the lowest layers of the forest understory.