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Forelimb musculature of kangaroos with particular emphasis on the tammar wallaby Macropus eugenii (Desmarest, 1817)

Harvey, K.J. and Warburton, N.M.ORCID: 0000-0002-8498-3053 (2010) Forelimb musculature of kangaroos with particular emphasis on the tammar wallaby Macropus eugenii (Desmarest, 1817). Australian Mammalogy, 32 (1). pp. 1-9.

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Comparative morphological studies can provide insights into an animal's ecology and evolutionary history. Functional morphological studies of the kangaroo forelimb are few in number and new work could provide novel tools to aid in the interpretation of fossil taxa and the understanding of the evolutionary history of kangaroos and marsupials as a whole. A description of the shoulder and forelimb musculature of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) with comparisons to the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus Desmarest, 1842), the western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus Desmarest, 1817) and the quokka (Setonix brachyurus Quoy & Gaimard, 1830) is presented. The species chosen were readily available and represent a range in size of the archetypal kangaroo form. Muscle maps of forelimb and shoulder muscles were constructed as an aid to comparing the spatial arrangement of muscle origins and insertions. The anatomical pattern of forelimb musculature in terrestrial macropodine kangaroos and wallabies is highly conservative. Functionally, the musculature of the forelimb corresponds to a supporting role of the limb during slow pentapedal locomotion. The illustrations of muscle insertions provided in this work will be a useful reference for future work in comparative marsupial anatomy and palaeobiology.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Australian Mammal Society Inc.
Copyright: © Australian Mammal Society 2010
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