Bipedal gait versatility in the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata)

Naomichi Ogihara, Eishi Hirasaki, Emanuel Andrada, Reinhard Blickhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

It was previously believed that, among primates, only humans run bipedally. However, there is now growing evidence that at least some non-human primates can not only run bipedally but can also generate a running gait with an aerial phase. Japanese macaques trained for bipedal performances have been known to exhibit remarkable bipedal locomotion capabilities, but no aerial-phase running has previously been reported. In the present study, we investigated whether Japanese macaques could run with an aerial phase by collecting bipedal gait sequences from three macaques on a level surface at self-selected speeds (n = 188). During our experiments, body kinematics and ground reaction forces were recorded by a motion-capture system and two force plates installed within a wooden walkway. Our results demonstrated that macaques were able to utilize a variety of bipedal gaits including grounded running, skipping, and even running with an aerial phase. The self-selected bipedal locomotion speed of the macaques was fast, with Froude speed ranging from 0.4 to 1.3. However, based on congruity, no single trial that could be categorized as a pendulum-like walking gait was observed. The parameters describing the temporal, kinematic, and dynamic characteristics of macaque bipedal running gaits follow the patterns previously documented for other non-human primates and terrestrial birds that use running gaits, but are different from those of humans and from birds' walking gaits. The present study confirmed that when a Japanese macaque engages in bipedal locomotion, even without an aerial phase, it generally utilizes a spring-like running mechanism because the animals have a limited ability to stiffen their legs. That limitation is due to anatomical restrictions determined by the morphology and structure of the macaque musculoskeletal system. The general adoption of grounded running in macaques and other non-human primates, along with its absence in human bipedal locomotion, suggests that abandonment of compliant gait was a critical transition in the evolution of human obligatory bipedalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-14
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume125
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1

Fingerprint

Macaca fuscata
locomotion
gait
primate
Macaca
walking
Primates
kinematics
bipedalism
bird
animal
experiment
ability
musculoskeletal system
performance
evidence
birds
speed
legs

Keywords

  • Grounded running
  • Macaque
  • Running
  • Skipping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology

Cite this

Bipedal gait versatility in the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata). / Ogihara, Naomichi; Hirasaki, Eishi; Andrada, Emanuel; Blickhan, Reinhard.

In: Journal of Human Evolution, Vol. 125, 01.12.2018, p. 2-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ogihara, Naomichi ; Hirasaki, Eishi ; Andrada, Emanuel ; Blickhan, Reinhard. / Bipedal gait versatility in the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata). In: Journal of Human Evolution. 2018 ; Vol. 125. pp. 2-14.
@article{9a0b50e0166f425faee0ed3717aa08e0,
title = "Bipedal gait versatility in the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata)",
abstract = "It was previously believed that, among primates, only humans run bipedally. However, there is now growing evidence that at least some non-human primates can not only run bipedally but can also generate a running gait with an aerial phase. Japanese macaques trained for bipedal performances have been known to exhibit remarkable bipedal locomotion capabilities, but no aerial-phase running has previously been reported. In the present study, we investigated whether Japanese macaques could run with an aerial phase by collecting bipedal gait sequences from three macaques on a level surface at self-selected speeds (n = 188). During our experiments, body kinematics and ground reaction forces were recorded by a motion-capture system and two force plates installed within a wooden walkway. Our results demonstrated that macaques were able to utilize a variety of bipedal gaits including grounded running, skipping, and even running with an aerial phase. The self-selected bipedal locomotion speed of the macaques was fast, with Froude speed ranging from 0.4 to 1.3. However, based on congruity, no single trial that could be categorized as a pendulum-like walking gait was observed. The parameters describing the temporal, kinematic, and dynamic characteristics of macaque bipedal running gaits follow the patterns previously documented for other non-human primates and terrestrial birds that use running gaits, but are different from those of humans and from birds' walking gaits. The present study confirmed that when a Japanese macaque engages in bipedal locomotion, even without an aerial phase, it generally utilizes a spring-like running mechanism because the animals have a limited ability to stiffen their legs. That limitation is due to anatomical restrictions determined by the morphology and structure of the macaque musculoskeletal system. The general adoption of grounded running in macaques and other non-human primates, along with its absence in human bipedal locomotion, suggests that abandonment of compliant gait was a critical transition in the evolution of human obligatory bipedalism.",
keywords = "Grounded running, Macaque, Running, Skipping",
author = "Naomichi Ogihara and Eishi Hirasaki and Emanuel Andrada and Reinhard Blickhan",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jhevol.2018.09.001",
language = "English",
volume = "125",
pages = "2--14",
journal = "Journal of Human Evolution",
issn = "0047-2484",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Bipedal gait versatility in the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata)

AU - Ogihara, Naomichi

AU - Hirasaki, Eishi

AU - Andrada, Emanuel

AU - Blickhan, Reinhard

PY - 2018/12/1

Y1 - 2018/12/1

N2 - It was previously believed that, among primates, only humans run bipedally. However, there is now growing evidence that at least some non-human primates can not only run bipedally but can also generate a running gait with an aerial phase. Japanese macaques trained for bipedal performances have been known to exhibit remarkable bipedal locomotion capabilities, but no aerial-phase running has previously been reported. In the present study, we investigated whether Japanese macaques could run with an aerial phase by collecting bipedal gait sequences from three macaques on a level surface at self-selected speeds (n = 188). During our experiments, body kinematics and ground reaction forces were recorded by a motion-capture system and two force plates installed within a wooden walkway. Our results demonstrated that macaques were able to utilize a variety of bipedal gaits including grounded running, skipping, and even running with an aerial phase. The self-selected bipedal locomotion speed of the macaques was fast, with Froude speed ranging from 0.4 to 1.3. However, based on congruity, no single trial that could be categorized as a pendulum-like walking gait was observed. The parameters describing the temporal, kinematic, and dynamic characteristics of macaque bipedal running gaits follow the patterns previously documented for other non-human primates and terrestrial birds that use running gaits, but are different from those of humans and from birds' walking gaits. The present study confirmed that when a Japanese macaque engages in bipedal locomotion, even without an aerial phase, it generally utilizes a spring-like running mechanism because the animals have a limited ability to stiffen their legs. That limitation is due to anatomical restrictions determined by the morphology and structure of the macaque musculoskeletal system. The general adoption of grounded running in macaques and other non-human primates, along with its absence in human bipedal locomotion, suggests that abandonment of compliant gait was a critical transition in the evolution of human obligatory bipedalism.

AB - It was previously believed that, among primates, only humans run bipedally. However, there is now growing evidence that at least some non-human primates can not only run bipedally but can also generate a running gait with an aerial phase. Japanese macaques trained for bipedal performances have been known to exhibit remarkable bipedal locomotion capabilities, but no aerial-phase running has previously been reported. In the present study, we investigated whether Japanese macaques could run with an aerial phase by collecting bipedal gait sequences from three macaques on a level surface at self-selected speeds (n = 188). During our experiments, body kinematics and ground reaction forces were recorded by a motion-capture system and two force plates installed within a wooden walkway. Our results demonstrated that macaques were able to utilize a variety of bipedal gaits including grounded running, skipping, and even running with an aerial phase. The self-selected bipedal locomotion speed of the macaques was fast, with Froude speed ranging from 0.4 to 1.3. However, based on congruity, no single trial that could be categorized as a pendulum-like walking gait was observed. The parameters describing the temporal, kinematic, and dynamic characteristics of macaque bipedal running gaits follow the patterns previously documented for other non-human primates and terrestrial birds that use running gaits, but are different from those of humans and from birds' walking gaits. The present study confirmed that when a Japanese macaque engages in bipedal locomotion, even without an aerial phase, it generally utilizes a spring-like running mechanism because the animals have a limited ability to stiffen their legs. That limitation is due to anatomical restrictions determined by the morphology and structure of the macaque musculoskeletal system. The general adoption of grounded running in macaques and other non-human primates, along with its absence in human bipedal locomotion, suggests that abandonment of compliant gait was a critical transition in the evolution of human obligatory bipedalism.

KW - Grounded running

KW - Macaque

KW - Running

KW - Skipping

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85054004020&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85054004020&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jhevol.2018.09.001

DO - 10.1016/j.jhevol.2018.09.001

M3 - Article

VL - 125

SP - 2

EP - 14

JO - Journal of Human Evolution

JF - Journal of Human Evolution

SN - 0047-2484

ER -