Variation in the leaping of lemurs

Carl J. Terranova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Locomotor diversity among lemurids has been ignored by placing most species into a category of arboreal quadrupeds. Recent field studies have shown that leaping behaviors comprise a relatively large amount of their travel. In this contribution I detail a study of captive lemurs locomoting on a designed support network and/or in outdoor enclosures. Associations between support context, leaping behaviors, and landing kinematics are detailed for Hapalemur griseus, Eulemur rubriventer, Eulemur fulvus, Eulemur mongoz, and Varecia variegata. In-air body position, including the amount and location of trunk flexion, coupled with the extent of shoulder and hip flexion dictates limb use at landing. Limb strike pattern when landing onto the same support type varies interspecifically. The kinematic variation in leaping behaviors may well have implications for functional analyses of the postcranium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-165
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • leaping behaviors
  • lemurids
  • locomotor categories
  • support context


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