Three-dimensional moment arms and architecture of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) leg musculature

Authors

  • Nicholas B. Holowka,

    Corresponding author
    1. Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA
    • Correspondence

      Nicholas B. Holowka, Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4364, USA. T: +(607) 279 5428; E: nicholas.holowka@stonybrook.edu

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  • Matthew C. O'Neill

    1. Department of Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, USA
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Abstract

The muscular and skeletal morphology of the chimpanzee ankle and foot differs from that of humans in many important respects. However, little information is available on the moment arms and architecture of the muscles that function around chimpanzee ankle and foot joints. The main goals of this study were to determine the influence of changes in leg and foot position on the moment arms of these muscle–tendon units (MTUs), and provide new measurements of their architecture. Three-dimensional moment arm data were collected from two adult, cadaveric Pan troglodytes specimens for 11 MTUs that cross the ankle and foot joints. Tendon-excursion measurements were made throughout the full range of plantarflexion–dorsiflexion (PF–DF) and eversion–inversion (EV–IN), including repeated measurements for mm. gastrocnemius at 0 °, 45 °, 90 ° and 135 ° of knee flexion. The total range of motion was calculated from three-dimensional joint motion data while ensuring that foot movement was restricted to a single plane. Measurements of muscle mass, fascicle length, pennation angle and physiological cross-sectional area were then collected for each MTU. Our results demonstrate that joint position has a significant effect on moment arm lengths, and that in some cases this effect is counterintuitive. These new data contribute to filling a significant gap in previously published chimpanzee moment arm data, providing a comprehensive characterization of the MTUs that move the chimpanzee ankle and foot joints. They also provide empirical support to the notion that chimpanzees have larger ranges of motion at these joints than humans. Comparison of osteometric estimates of moment arm lengths to direct tendon-excursion measures provides some guidance for the use of skeletal features in estimations of PF–DF moment arms. Finally, muscle architecture data are consistent with the findings of previous studies, and increase the sample size of the chimpanzee data that are currently available.

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