Interspecific and ontogenetic variation in great ape pedal phalangeal curvature [abstract]
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Considerable attention has been devoted to understanding phalangeal curvature in primates, particularly with regard to hominid locomotor evolution. It is received wisdom that phalangeal curvature is an adaptation for climbing and grasping behaviors, with greater curvature indicative of increased climbing. Although the link between curvature and climbing has been posited for hands and feet, little is known about the functional morphology of pedal phalangeal curvature. Here, digital measures were collected from adult 3rd and 5th digit proximal pedal phalanges in Gorilla gorilla (n=44), Pan troglodytes (n=58) and Pongo pygmaeus (n=47). An ontogenetic sample of Pan troglodytes (n=91) was used to evaluate the postnatal link between variation in phalangeal curvature and grasping behaviors.
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