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Muscle moment arms and function of the siamang forelimb during brachiation

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Moment arms have an important modulating impact on muscle function, as they represent the capacity of the muscle to convert muscle action into limb movements. In the current paper, we provide muscle moment arm data of the forelimb of four siamangs, collected by detailed dissections on unfixed cadavers. The aim of this study is to assess the role of different forelimb muscles during brachiation. Moment arm data are compared with similar published data of non-brachiating primates such as macaques, chimpanzees and humans. Our data show that shoulder adductors and endorotators and the elbow flexors are built for force generation, whereas the shoulder abductors, flexors and exorotators are best suited to gain speed and to change direction. Compared to non-brachiating species, both elbow and wrist flexors are particularly noticeable in terms of moment of force-generating capacity. However, the moment of force-generating capacity of the elbow extensor is not negligible, which indicates that the triceps also plays an active role, especially at the end of the support phase. Except for the elbow flexors, all muscles reach their maximum moment of force-generating capacity during the support phase of brachiation. When brachiating on a more complex setup, the siamang will flex the elbows to angles that induce maximum moment arms as well.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Anatomy
ISSN: 0021-8782
Issue: 5
Volume: 217
Pagina's: 521-535
Aantal pagina's: 15
Jaar van publicatie:2010
Trefwoorden:biomechanics, forelimb anatomy, Symphalangus