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Anatomy Research International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 580864, 13 pages
Research Article

Hip Anatomy and Ontogeny of Lower Limb Musculature in Three Species of Nonhuman Primates

1Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, Austintown, OH 44515, USA
2School of Physical Therapy, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA 16057, USA
3Medical Scientist Training Program, Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
4HealthPoint, Wooster, OH 44691, USA
5Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA

Received 11 February 2011; Revised 2 April 2011; Accepted 2 May 2011

Academic Editor: Adam D. Sylvester

Copyright © 2011 Jeremy J. Baker et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The hip region is examined to determine what aspects of musculoskeletal anatomy are precociously developed in primate species with highly specialized modes of locomotion. Muscles of the hind limb were removed and weighed in each specimen, and the hip joint of selected specimens was studied in stained serial sections. No perinatal differences among species are evident, but in adults, the hip joint of Galago moholi (a leaping specialist) appears to have proportionally thick articular cartilage (relative to the subchondral plate) compared to two species of cheirogaleids. Muscle mass distribution in the hind limbs confirms previous observations that the quadriceps femoris muscle is especially large in Galago (in percent mass of the entire hind limb), while the hip region is smaller compared to the more quadrupedal cheirogaleids. Across age groups, the species with the least specialized locomotion as adults, Cheirogaleus medius, shows little or no change in proximal to distal percentage distribution of muscle mass. Galago has a larger percentage mass gain in the thigh. We suggest that muscle mass gain to specific limb segments may be a critical milestone for primates with extremely specialized modes of locomotion.