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Keywords:

  • Primate locomotion;
  • Allometry;
  • Elastic similarity;
  • Dynamic similarity

Abstract

A comparison of the values of certain temporal and spatial locomotor parameters was made among ten different-aged (sized) vervet monkeys locomoting at nine identical speeds. Cycle and stance durations decreased across speed for all the animals; at any one speed both parameters also varied directly with body size. Stride length increased with speed for all the animals and was greater in the larger animals. Swing duration and hindlimb support length tended to be relatively consistent for each animal across speed, but varied among the animals directly with body size. Hindlimb duty factor decreased with speed for any one animal but showed no direct correlation with size. Hindlimb angular excursion also showed no correlation with size, nor did it show a simple relationship with speed. In terms of gaits and gait transitions, the data indicate that vervets use a very wide variety of gait types, which are not easily correlated with speed or body size. Furthermore, the data suggest the existence of a run–gallop transition zone of speeds for these animals, rather than the existence of a specific transition speed. Finally, the data were used to test intraspecifically the elastic and dynamic similarity models, both of which predict how locomotor parameters will change with size in animals. The results are generally consistent with the dynamic model.