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The morphology and evolutionary history of the glenohumeral joint of hominoids: A review

Arias Martorell, Julia (2019) The morphology and evolutionary history of the glenohumeral joint of hominoids: A review. Ecology and Evolution, 9 (1). pp. 703-722. E-ISSN 2045-7758. (doi:10.1002/ece3.4392) (KAR id:71637)


The glenohumeral joint, the most mobile joint in the body of hominoids, is involved in the locomotion of all extant primates apart from humans. Over the last few decades,our knowledge of how variation in its morphological characteristics relates to different locomotor behaviors within extant primates has greatly improved, including features of the proximal humerus and the glenoid cavity of the scapula, as well as the muscles that function to move the joint (the rotator cuff muscles). The glenohumeral joint is a region with a strong morphofunctional signal, and hence, its study can shed light on the locomotor behaviors of crucial ancestral nodes in the evolutionary history of hominoids (e.g., the last common ancestor between humans and chimpanzees). Hominoids, in particular, are distinct in showing round and relatively big proximal humeri with lowered tubercles and flattened and oval glenoid cavities, morphology suited to engage in a wide range of motions, which enables the use of locomotor behaviors such as suspension. The comparison with extant taxa has enabled more informed functional interpretations of morphology in extinct primates, including hominoids, from the Early Miocene through to the emergence of hominins. Here, I review our current understanding of glenohumeral joint functional morphology and its evolution throughout the Miocene and Pleistocene, as well as highlighting the areas where a deeper study of this joint is still needed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/ece3.4392
Uncontrolled keywords: evolutionary morphology, glenohumeral morphology, hominins, hominoids, locomotion, Miocene apes
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Julia Arias-Martorell
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2019 10:24 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:02 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Arias Martorell, Julia.

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