Terrestrial adaptations in the postcranial skeletons of guenons



Arboreal and semiterrestrial guenons show similar osteological features of the limbs across a wide range of species, environments, and geography, while the more terrestrially committed guenons exhibit greater morphological divergence. An ecomorphological comparison of two sympatric guenons living in Kibale Forest, Uganda, reveals an array of anatomical adaptations for terrestriality in the limbs of Cercopithecus lhoesti similar to those found in Erythrocebus patas. In contrast, Cercopithecus aethiops, although also frequent users of the terrestrial environment, generally exhibit fewer morphological adaptations characteristic of a terrestrial lifestyle. It appears that significant morphological modification for terrestriality has occurred twice within the diverse radiation of living guenons with C. aethiops perhaps representing a third group in the making. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.