Cattle Primate Observation Report

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This study examined the differences in articular surface morphology of caudal vertebrae between prehensile and non-prehensile tailed primates. Articular surface is skeletal surface, which includes bone and cartilage, that makes contact with other skeletal surface as part of a joint. Variation in the morphology of articular surface can confer a greater capacity for mechanical loading, which is required for prehensile primates as they often use their tails to suspend their entire weight during locomotion. In this experiment, it was hypothesized that articular surface area and curvature in caudal vertebrae could be used to distinguish between prehensile and non-prehensile tails. The results showed that articular surfaces found in both proximal and distal regions were greater in prehensile tailed primates, in comparison to primates that were non-prehensile tailed.…show more content…
It was also determined that prehensile tailed platyrrhines had more pronounced and convex articular surface curvatures. Greater contour curvatures on intervertebral articular surfaces are associated with an increased range of flexibility and mobility of the caudal vertebrae, benefiting prehensile primates that use their tails in a variety of complex movements. Hence, through analyses of the morphology of caudal vertebrae, specifically their articular surface area and curvature, it was concluded prehensile and non-prehensile tails could be distinguished according to these structural features. Both of these characteristics relate to effective use of the tail during locomotion. This article is useful towards my GEM as it describes differences in bone structure of the tails of prehensile and non-prehensile primates, and explains the reasons that certain variations confer advantages to prehensile tail

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