Hip structure and locomotion in ambulatory and cursorial carnivores reinvestigated [abstract]
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Understanding how the femoral head articulates with the acetabulum of the pelvis should allow one to infer the pattern of hip mobility in living and fossil species. In 1977, Jenkins and Camazine analyzed cineradiographic films of carnivores (cat, dog, raccoon) during locomotion. They hypothesized that raccoons, which climb trees as well as walk terrestrially, would have hip joints adapted for greater abduction, where as the nearly strictly terrestrial dogs would have more adducted hips, and cats would be intermediate. Inferences made in this study have been used extensively to infer locomotor behavior and evolution in primates, although they were not tested thoroughly due to methodological limitations at the time. We tested the hypothesis that ambulatory carnivores (raccoons; Procyonidae) would have shallower acetabulae, lower greater trochanters, higher femoral neck-shaft angle and higher position of the fovea capitis than terrestrial ones (dogs; Canidae), and that cats (Felidae) would be intermediate.