Monkey Forest Tales: How monkeys move?

On some past post I have talk about where monkeys move, but we have not talked about how they move and by this we mean if they are quadrupedal (i.e. move like dogs and cats) or bipedal (i.e. move like us), or they move leaping (i.e. jumping from tree to tree) or by using the suspensory behavior (i.e. climbing a tree).
Well, primates in general use all these forms of locomotion (movement) and some species use one or more of these locomotion forms during their lives depending on their activities. For example, quadrupedal locomotion is used by monkeys in two forms: arboreal quadrupedal movement, when they walk on their four limbs on big trees branches and terrestrial quadrupedal locomotion when they walk on their four limbs on the ground in search of food. Some used both forms of quadrupedal movements because they use both trees and the ground during their search for food and other activities.
In the study area, black-capped capuchins and Colombian squirrel monkeys use all forms of locomotion depending on the activities they are doing (see video, below). For example, when foraging for insects and spiders on the ground they use terrestrial quadrupedal movements, but they also can move bipedal for a couple of minutes if they are carrying some heavy fruits with their hands or to have a better look on the ground in search of insects. They both also use leaping to move between trees and even some times they use the suspensory behavior to climb to the top of big trees or to be able to cross gaps between tree tops that there are not so far apart.
Red howler monkeys are masters on the use of suspensory behavior to reach flowers on the thinner branches of some trees or to reach fruits from trees that may not support their weight to they use their body weight on stronger branches to reach those fruits. They also move using arboreal quadrupedalism on big trees with wide branches and sometime leap between branches during their long-distance movements.
Dusky titi monkeys and Brumback night monkeys use more arboreal quadrupedalism and leaping on their movements in search of fruits and when moving fast on the forest canopy. Dusky titi monkeys sometimes also use terrestrial quadrupedal movement when searching for insects on the ground. We didn’t see Brumback night monkeys on the ground yet, but they use leaping and fast arboreal quadrupedalism to avoid us as much as they can.
How monkeys move is an important part of how we describe what monkeys do during their activities and it explain some modifications in primates’ bodies as well as particular behaviors.
© Copyright Disclaimer. All pictures used on this web page are protected with copyrights to Xyomara Carretero-Pinzón. If you want to use any of these pictures, please leave a message on the website. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s