Metacarpal trabecular architecture variation in the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes): Evidence for locomotion and tool-use?
Article first published online: 24 SEP 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 144, Issue 2, pages 215–225, February 2011
How to Cite
Lazenby, R. A., Skinner, M. M., Hublin, J.-J. and Boesch, C. (2011), Metacarpal trabecular architecture variation in the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes): Evidence for locomotion and tool-use?. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 144: 215–225. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21390
- Issue published online: 13 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 24 SEP 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Received: 12 SEP 2009
- Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Grant Number: 183660-03
- EVAN Marie Curie Research Training Network. Grant Number: MRTN-CT-019564
- Max Planck Society
- Pan troglodytes;
- microcomputed tomography;
- metacarpal trabecular architecture;
Trabecular architecture was assessed by 3D micro-computed tomography from spherical volumes of interest located within the head and base of metacarpals (MC) 1, 2, and 5 from n = 19 adult common chimpanzees. Two subspecies, West African Pan troglodytes verus from the Taï Forest, Côte d'Ivoire (n = 12) and Central African P. t. troglodytes from Cameroon (n = 7), were studied. For the combined sample, the metacarpal head is distinguished by greater bone volume fraction across all metacarpals, though the MC 1 is distinctive in having thicker, more plate-like trabeculae. The architecture in the MC 2 and MC 5 can be related to strains associated with terrestrial knuckle-walking. In particular, the relatively robust MC 5 head architecture may result from functional loading incurred during braking and use of a palm-in hand posture. Examining differences between samples, we found that the Cameroon chimpanzees possess a more robust architecture across all metacarpals in the form of greater bone volume fraction, higher connectivity, and somewhat more plate-like structure. These differences are not explicable in terms of population distinctions in body size or daily travel distance, but possibly reflect a combination of more terrestrial knuckle-walking in the Cameroon sample and more diverse hand postures and precision handling required of nut-cracking in West African chimpanzees. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.