Functional morphology of the muscular sling at the pectoral girdle in tree sloths: convergent morphological solutions to new functional demands?

Recent phylogenetic analyses imply a diphyly of tree sloths and a convergent evolution of their obligatory suspensory locomotion. In mammals the extrinsic shoulder musculature forms a 'muscular sling' to support the trunk in quadrupedal postures. In addition, the extrinsic pectoral muscles are responsible for moving the proximal forelimb elements during… CONTINUE READING