Document Detail

External forces and torques generated by the brachiating white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11002205     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We compared the kinetics of brachiation to bipedal walking and running. Gibbons use pectoral limbs in continuous contact with their overhead support at slow speeds, but exhibit aerial phases (or ricochetal brachiation) at faster speeds. This basic interaction between limb and support suggests some analogy to walking and running. We quantified the forces in three axes and torque about the vertical axis generated by a brachiating White-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) and compared them with bipedal locomotion. Handholds oriented perpendicular to the direction of travel (as in ladder rungs) were spaced 0.80, 1.20, 1.60, 1.72, 1.95, and 2.25 m apart. The gibbon proportionally matched forward velocity to stride length. Handhold reaction forces resembled ground reaction forces of running humans except that the order of horizontal braking and propulsion were reversed. Peak vertical forces in brachiation increased with speed as in bipedal locomotion. In contrast to bipedalism, however, peak horizontal forces changed little with speed. Gait transition occurred within the same relative velocity range as the walk-run transition in bipeds (Froude number = 0.3-0.6). We oriented handholds parallel to the direction of travel (as in a continuous pole) at 0.80 and 1.60 m spacings. In ricochetal brachiation, the gibbon generated greater torque with handholds oriented perpendicular as opposed to parallel to the direction of travel. Handhold orientation did not affect peak forces. The similarities and differences between brachiation and bipedalism offer insight into the ubiquity of mechanical principles guiding all limbed locomotion and the distinctiveness of brachiation as a unique mode of locomotion.
Y H Chang; J E Bertram; D V Lee
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of physical anthropology     Volume:  113     ISSN:  0002-9483     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Phys. Anthropol.     Publication Date:  2000 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-01-02     Completed Date:  2001-01-02     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0400654     Medline TA:  Am J Phys Anthropol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  201-16     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-3140, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Gait / physiology
Hylobates / physiology*
Kinesthesis / physiology
Locomotion / physiology*
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