Retardation of bone development in the Koshima troop of Japanese macaques
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Retardation of bone development was observed in the Koshima troop of free ranging Japanese macaques. In the control group, epiphyseal unions of appendicular long bones generally started to close at about 4 yrs of age and were completed at about 8 or 9 yrs of age. Limb bone unions of the Koshima troop, however, started to close at about 9 yrs of age and completely closed at about 15 yrs of age. In the epiphyseal unions of trunk and girdle bones, the Koshima troop again showed a retardation of closure compared with the control group. Until long bones reached their full length, that is, until about 15 yrs of age, their size was small in the Koshima troop compared with the control group, though the sample size of the Koshima troop was small. After 15 yrs of age, however, many osteometrical measurements of the Koshima troop were nearly the same as controls. A prolonged growing duration compensated for the slow growth and allowed them to become as large as controls. This prolongation may be an adaptation in response to small size during the developmental period.
In some parts of the body, however, Koshima macaques failed to reach the adult size of controls. Males were less likely than females to reach full size. Causes of the retardation and small size in the Koshima troop are discussed, but they remain open to further studies.
Key WordsMacaca fuscata Koshima troop Growth Retardation Body size Epiphyseal union
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