Foot anatomy, climbing, and the origin of the Indriidae

Daniel L. Gebo*, Marian M Dagosto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Living indriids share a suite of derived osteological and myological features of the foot which are related to three of the most important components of their locomotor repertoire: climbing (primarily on vertical supports), vertical clinging, and leaping. However, the overall structure of the foot bones and musculature reflects the requirements for climbing more than any other behavior. All indriid subfamilies have postcranial morphologies and locomotor behaviors which are derived compared to the probable indriid-lemurid common ancestor. It seems most likely that the ancestral indriid was an "arboreal quadruped" (i.e. lemur-like), not a vertical clinger and leaper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-154
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


  • Indriidae
  • climbing
  • foot
  • locomotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology

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