Trunk and leg kinematics of grounded and aerial running in bipedal macaques [RESEARCH ARTICLE]

Reinhard Blickhan, Emanuel Andrada, Eishi Hirasaki, and Naomichi Ogihara Across a wide range of Froude speeds, non-human primates such as macaques prefer to use grounded and aerial running when locomoting bipedally. Both gaits are characterized by bouncing kinetics of the center of mass. In contrast, a discontinuous change from pendular to bouncing kinetics occurs in human locomotion. To clarify the mechanism underlying these differences in bipedal gait mechanics between humans and non-human primates, we investigated the influence of gait on joint kinematics in the legs and trunk of three macaques crossing an experimental track. The coordination of movement was compared with observations available for primates. Compared with human running, macaque leg retraction cannot merely be produced by hip extension, but needs to be supported by substantial knee flexion. As a result, despite quasi-elastic whole-leg operation, the macaque's knee showed only minor rebound behavior. Ankle extension resembled that observed during human running. Unlike human running and independent of gait, torsion of the trunk represents a rather conservative feature in primates, and pelvic axial rotation added to step length. Pelvic lateral lean during grounded running by macaques (compliant leg) and human walking (stiff leg) depends on gait dynamics at the same Froude speed. The different coordination between the thorax and pelvis in the sagittal plane as compared with human runners indicates different be...
Source: Journal of Experimental Biology - Category: Biology Authors: Tags: Comparative biomechanics of movement RESEARCH ARTICLE Source Type: research
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