Matching Items (1)

137308-Thumbnail Image.png

The Functional Anatomy of the Hindlimb of the Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)

Description

The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), a member of the Procyonidae, is capable of 180 degrees of hindlimb reversal during headfirst descent down a vertical substrate. The goal of this study was

The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), a member of the Procyonidae, is capable of 180 degrees of hindlimb reversal during headfirst descent down a vertical substrate. The goal of this study was to determine the presence or absence of myological adaptations related to hindlimb reversal in the ringtail. Data for B. astutus are presented, including muscle weights and muscle maps ascertained from the dissection of four hindlimbs. Data from the current study were compared to published accounts of other species capable of hindlimb reversal, including procyonids (raccoon, coati, kinkajou, olingo), a mustelid (marten), palm civet, mongoose, tree squirrel, common tree shrew, and slow loris. Muscle mass data from this study demonstrate that the hip adductors of scansorial mammals are significantly more robust than those of terrestrial mammals, indicating a myological adaptation for climbing, but not necessarily hindlimb reversal. Among hindlimb reversers, the majority exhibit one belly of m. sartorius, the presence of m. extensor digiti I longus, and a fibular origin for m. fibularis longus. These characteristics indicate an emphasis on hip extension, ankle plantarflexion, and pes inversion. However, these characteristics are more likely due to phylogeny than hindlimb reversal because of their presence in closely-related non-reversers. Additional data on families outside of Carnivora may help determine if these myological traits are indeed due to phylogeny. Other myological data, such as moment arms and cross sectional areas, may provide evidence of adaptations for hindlimb reversal.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05