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Keywords:

  • locomotion;
  • hip joint;
  • cancellous bone;
  • bone volume fraction;
  • degree of anisotropy;
  • microcomputed tomography

Abstract

Functional analyses of human and nonhuman anthropoid primate femoral neck structure have largely ignored the trabecular bone. We tested hypotheses regarding differences in the relative distribution and structural anisotropy of trabecular bone in the femoral neck of quadrupedal and climbing/suspensory anthropoids. We used high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to analyze quantitatively the femoral neck trabecular structure of Ateles geoffroyi, Symphalangus syndactylus, Alouatta seniculus, Colobus guereza, Macaca fascicularis, and Papio cynocephalus (n = 46). We analyzed a size-scaled superior and inferior volume of interest (VOI) in the femoral neck. The ratio of the superior to inferior VOI bone volume fraction indicated that the distribution of trabecular bone was inferiorly skewed in most (but not all) quadrupeds and evenly distributed the climbing/suspensory species, but interspecific comparisons indicated that all taxa overlapped in these measurements. Degree of anisotropy values were generally higher in the inferior VOI of all species and the results for the two climbing/suspensory taxa, A. geoffroyi (1.71 ± 0.30) and S. syndactylus (1.55 ± 0.04), were similar to the results for the quadrupedal anthropoids, C. guereza (male = 1.64 ± 0.13; female = 1.68 ± 0.07) and P. cynocephalus (1.47 ± 0.13). These results suggest strong trabecular architecture similarity across body sizes, anthropoid phylogenetic backgrounds, and locomotor mode. This structural similarity might be explained by greater similarity in anthropoid hip joint loading mechanics than previously considered. It is likely that our current models of anthropoid hip joint mechanics are overly simplistic. Anat Rec, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.