Locomotion and postural behaviour
- Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Erbertstr. 1, 07743 Jena, Germany
Abstract. The purpose of this article is to provide a survey of the diversity of primate locomotor behaviour for people who are involved in research using laboratory primates. The main locomotor modes displayed by primates are introduced with reference to some general morphological adaptations. The relationships between locomotor behaviour and body size, habitat structure and behavioural context will be illustrated because these factors are important determinants of the evolutionary diversity of primate locomotor activities. They also induce the high individual plasticity of the locomotor behaviour for which primates are well known. The article also provides a short overview of the preferred locomotor activities in the various primate families. A more detailed description of locomotor preferences for some of the most common laboratory primates is included which also contains information about substrate preferences and daily locomotor activities which might useful for laboratory practice. Finally, practical implications for primate husbandry and cage design are provided emphasizing the positive impact of physical activity on health and psychological well-being of primates in captivity.