Robust locomotor performance of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis) in response to simulated changes in support diameter and compliance

Title

Robust locomotor performance of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis) in response to simulated changes in support diameter and compliance

Creator

Nicole M Schapker
Brad A Chadwell
Jesse W Young

Date

2022

Description

Arboreal environments require overcoming navigational challenges not typically encountered in other terrestrial habitats. Supports are unevenly distributed and vary in diameter, orientation, and compliance. To better understand the strategies that arboreal animals use to maintain stability in this environment, laboratory researchers must endeavor to mimic those conditions. Here, we evaluate how squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis) adjust their locomotor mechanics in response to variation in support diameter and compliance. We used high-speed cameras to film two juvenile female monkeys as they walked across poles of varying diameters (5, 2.5, and 1.25 cm). Poles were mounted on either a stiff wooden base ("stable" condition) or foam blocks ("compliant" condition). Six force transducers embedded within the pole trackway recorded substrate reaction forces during locomotion. We predicted that squirrel monkeys would walk more slowly on narrow and compliant supports and adopt more "compliant" gait mechanics, increasing stride lengths, duty factors, and an average number of limbs gripping the support, while the decreasing center of mass height, stride frequencies, and peak forces. We observed few significant adjustments to squirrel monkey locomotor kinematics in response to changes in either support diameter or compliance, and the changes we did observe were often tempered by interactions with locomotor speed. These results differ from a similar study of common marmosets (i.e., Callithrix jacchus, with relatively poor grasping abilities), where variation in diameter and compliance substantially impacted gait kinematics. Squirrel monkeys' strong grasping apparatus, long and mobile tails, and other adaptations for arboreal travel likely facilitate robust locomotor performance despite substrate precarity.

Source

J Exp Zool A Ecol Integr Physiol
. 2022 Jun;337(5):417-433. doi: 10.1002/jez.2574. Epub 2022 Jan 5.

Language

English

Citation

Nicole M Schapker, Brad A Chadwell, and Jesse W Young, “Robust locomotor performance of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis) in response to simulated changes in support diameter and compliance,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed July 18, 2024, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/12174.