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Functional signals and covariation in triquetrum and hamate shape of extant primates using 3D geometric morphometrics

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

In this study, we want to investigate the covariation in the shape of two carpal bones, the triquetrum and hamate, and the possible association with locomotor behavior in a broad range of primate taxa. We applied 3D Geometric Morphometrics on a large data set comprising 309 anthropoid primates of 12 different genera. Principal component analyses were performed on the covariance matrix of 18 (triquetrum) and 23 (hamate) Procrustes-aligned surface landmarks. A two-block partial least square analysis was done to test the covariance between triquetrum and hamate shape, without relying on the predictive models implicit in regression analyses. The results show that the carpal shape of quadrupedal anthropoids, which mainly use their wrist under compressive conditions, differs from that of suspensory primates as their wrist is possibly subjected to tensile and torsional forces. Within the hominids, differences in shape also distinguish more terrestrial from more arboreal species. Even within the great apes, we are able to capture shape differences between species of the same genus. In combination with behavioral and biomechanical studies, the results of this research can be used to establish form-function relationships of the primate hand which will aid the functional interpretation of primate fossil remains.
Journal: Journal of Morphology
ISSN: 0362-2525
Issue: 9
Volume: 282
Pages: 1382 - 1401
Number of pages: 20
Publication year:2021