Correlates between locomotor anatomy and behavior in two sympatric species of Lemur



Sympatric populations of Lemur catta and Lemur fulvus show major differences in their occupation of canopy forest levels. Lemur catta is usually found in the lowest levels of the forest, and uses the ground for travel over 65% of the time. Lemur fulvus uses the upper levels of the canopy forest and is observed on the ground in less than 2% of all observations. Comparison of hindlimb musculoskeletal anatomy shows statistically significant differences in the lengths of the long bones and the height of the talus. Differences also occur in ranges of tibio-talar and mid-talar joint mobility. The details of insertion of the biceps femoris muscle are distinct in the two species as is the relative mass of muscle associated with flexion of the pedal digits, and flexion of the tibio-talar joint. The metric and morphological differences in the hindlimb anatomy of Lemur catta and Lemur fulvus are consistent with differences in habitat and substrate utilization.