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The characteristics of "climbing" in the sense of locomotion or posture on three-dimensional substrates are discussed from a biomechanical viewpoint. For this purpose, the mechanical conditions of the most widely spread modes of locomotion or gaits used in arboreal surroundings are reviewed. This allows precise identification of morphological(More)
The mechanical requirements for arboreal life are reviewed and the constraints which these requirements impose on the body of a prosimian are defined. The mechanical necessities can be fulfilled only by animals which possess the appropriate morphological characters. It is incorrect to refer to these morphological traits directly as 'adaptations'. Instead(More)
The mechanical laws which make possible several characteristic and well-known modes of primate locomotion are reviewed. Biological requirements are fulfilled in small and in large primates by utilizing different mechanical principles. On the basis of the mechanics, special morphological traits can be identified which are advantageous for performing these(More)
The head of a land-living vertebrate is exposed to the forces of acceleration, in particular the permanent earth acceleration (= gravity) and the muscle-generated bite and chewing forces. In mammals, at least, the latter seem to play the dominant role. Bite forces are applied to the teeth and close the circle of forces by passing through the facial skeleton(More)
The storage and recovery of elastic strain energy in the musculoskeletal systems of locomoting animals has been extensively studied, yet the external environment represents a second potentially useful energy store that has often been neglected. Recent studies have highlighted the ability of orangutans to usefully recover energy from swaying trees to(More)
On the basis of theoretical biomechanics and of experiments, we investigated the mechanical requirements to which the body of a bipedally walking primate is subject, and the possibilities to meet these requirements with a minimum amount of energy. The least energy-consuming adaptation is clearly a body shape favourable for the preferred locomotion. Some(More)
The measurement of strains in real skulls is an inductive method that yields information about the stresses occurring in the a priori existing shape. In contrast, the approach taken here to determine the relationship between skull function and skull shape applies Wolff's law through a deductive technique of structure synthesis. This article describes the(More)
The herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods were the largest terrestrial animals ever, surpassing the largest herbivorous mammals by an order of magnitude in body mass. Several evolutionary lineages among Sauropoda produced giants with body masses in excess of 50 metric tonnes by conservative estimates. With body mass increase(More)
Morphology and biomechanics are linked by causal morphogenesis ('Wolff's law') and the interplay of mutations and selection (Darwin's 'survival of the fittest'). Thus shape-based selective pressures can be determined. In both cases we need to know which biomechanical factors lead to skeletal adaptation, and which ones exert selective pressures on body(More)