The lorisiform wrist joint and the evolution of "brachiating" adaptations in the hominoidea.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In lorisines (Loris, Nycticebus, Perodicticus, Arctocebus), the tip of the ulna is reduced to the dimensions of a styloid process, a new and more proximal ulnar head is developed, and the pisiform is displaced distally away from its primitive contact with the ulna. In some Nycticebus, intra-articular tissues separate the ulna from the triquetrum. These traits are not seen in other quadrupedal primates, but they are characteristic of extant hominoids. Among hominoids, these features have been interpreted as adaptations to arm-swinging locomotion. Since hominoid-like features of the wrist joint are found in lorisines, but not in New World monkeys that practice arm-swinging locomotion, these features may have been evolved in both lorisines and large hominoids to enhance wrist mobility for cautious arboreal locomotion involving little or no leaping. Most of the other morphological traits characteristic of modern hominoids can be explained as adaptations to cautious quadrupedalism as well as to brachiation, and may have developed for different reasons in different lineages descended from an unspecialized cautious quadruped resembling Alouatta.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cartmill, M; Milton, K

Published Date

  • September 1, 1977

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 249 - 272

PubMed ID

  • 410307

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-8644

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9483

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ajpa.1330470206


  • eng