Knee function through finite element analysis and the role of Miocene hominoids in our understanding of the origin of antipronograde behaviours: the Pierolapithecus catalaunicus patella as a case study

Journal article


Pina, M., DeMiguel, D., Puigvert, F., Marcé‐Nogué, J. and Moyà‐Solà, S. (2020). Knee function through finite element analysis and the role of Miocene hominoids in our understanding of the origin of antipronograde behaviours: the Pierolapithecus catalaunicus patella as a case study. Palaeontology. 63 (3), pp. 459-475. https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12466
AuthorsPina, M., DeMiguel, D., Puigvert, F., Marcé‐Nogué, J. and Moyà‐Solà, S.
Abstract

Although extensive research has been carried out in recent years on the origin and evolution of human bipedalism, a full understanding of this question is far from settled. Miocene hominoids are key to a better understanding of the locomotor types observed in living apes and humans. Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, an extinct stem great ape from the middle Miocene (c. 12.0 Ma) of the Vallès-Penedès Basin (north-eastern Iberian Peninsula), is the first undoubted hominoid with an orthograde (erect) body plan. Its locomotor repertoire included above-branch quadrupedalism and other antipronograde behaviours. Elucidating the adaptive features present in the Pierolapithecus skeleton and its associated biomechanics helps us to better understand the origin of hominoid orthogrady. This work represents a new biomechanical perspective on Pierolapithecus locomotion, by studying its patella and comparing it with those drawn from a large sample of extant anthropoids. This is the first time that the biomechanical patellar performance in living non-human anthropoids and a stem hominid has been studied using finite element analysis (FEA). Differences in stress distribution are found depending on body plan and the presence/absence of a distal apex, probably due to dissimilar biomechanical performances. Pierolapithecus’ biomechanical response mainly resembles that of great apes, suggesting a similar knee joint use in mechanical terms. These results underpin previous studies on Pierolapithecus, favouring the idea that a relevant degree of some antipronograde behaviour may have made up part of its locomotor repertoire. Moreover, our results corroborate the presence of modern great ape-like knee biomechanical performances back in the Miocene.

Keywordsknee; patellar biomechanics; Pierolapithecus catalaunicus; antipronograde behaviours; evolution; Miocene
Year2020
JournalPalaeontology
Journal citation63 (3), pp. 459-475
PublisherWiley
ISSN1475-4983
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12466
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/pala.12466
Publication dates
Print11 Jan 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Oct 2019
Deposited30 Jan 2023
Accepted author manuscript
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File Access Level
Open
Additional information

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Knee function through finite element analysis and the role of Miocene hominoids in our understanding of the origin of antipronograde behaviours: the Pierolapithecus catalaunicus patella as a case study, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12466. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

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