Mechanical output in jumps of marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)

M.F. Bobbert, R.L.C. Plas, G. Weide, H.E. Clairbois, S. Hofman, R.T. Jaspers, I.H.C.H.M. Philippens

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In this study we determined the mechanical output of common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) during jumping. Vertical ground reaction forces were measured in 18 animals while they jumped from an instrumented crossbar to a crossbar located 70 cm higher. From the vertical force time histories, we calculated the rate of change of mechanical energy of the centre of mass (dE/dt). The mean value of dE/dt during the push-off amounted to 51.8±6.2 W kg-1 body mass, and the peak value to 116.4±17.6 W kg-1 body mass. We used these values in combination with masses of leg muscles, determined in two specimens, to estimate mean and peak values of dE/dt of 430 and 970 W kg-1 muscle, respectively. These values are higher than values reported in the literature for jumps of humans and bonobos, but smaller than those of jumps of bushbabies. Surprisingly, the mean value of dE/dt of 430 W kg-1 muscle was close to the maximal power output of 516 W kg-1 muscle reported in the literature for isokinetic contractions of rat medial gastrocnemius, one of the fastest mammalian muscles. Further study of the force-velocity relationship of muscle tissue of small primates is indicated. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-488
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue numberPt 4
Early online date18 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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