From Treadmill to Tropics: Calculating Ranging Cost in Chimpanzees

  • Herman Pontzer
  • David A. Raichlen
  • Michael D. Sockol
Chapter
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)

Abstract

Ecological studies of wild primates often use travel time or distance as a measure of ranging and foraging cost. Recent laboratory studies of walking and climbing cost in primates and other mammals can greatly improve the accuracy of these estimates. Here, we review recent studies of climbing cost in primates and walking costs in chimpanzees, and apply this work to calculating daily ranging cost for wild chimpanzees. Laboratory investigations of locomotor cost suggest that daily locomotor cost is best calculated by multiplying the distance walked or climbed by the cost per meter of each activity. We discuss the reliability of different variables in predicting the cost per meter traveled, including body mass, hip height, and step length. We calculate daily ranging cost using these variables for different populations and sex-age classes of wild chimpanzees, and propose a hierarchical approach to estimating walking cost in wild populations, preferring hip height to body mass.

Keywords

Biomechanics Energetics Foraging ecology Primate locomotion 

Abbreviations

α

angle of take-off, relative to horizontal, for a leaping primate

BMR

basal metabolic rate (kJ/day)

COT

cost of transport (J m–1); the metabolic cost of traveling a meter during terrestrial travel

COL

cost of locomotion (J s–1); the rate of metabolic energy use during terrestrial locomotion

d

step length; the horizontal distance traveled during contact time for a limb

DEE

daily energy expenditure (kJ day–1); the total amount of energy used each day

EMA

effective mechanical advantage; the ratio of the muscle’s moment arm to the moment arm of the ground reaction force

Eleap

metabolic cost of a leap (J)

Eclimb

metabolic cost of a climbing bout (J)

Ek

kinetic energy (J)

fore

percentage of vertical ground force born by the forelimbs during terrestrial locomotion

g

gravitational acceleration (9.81 m s–2)

GRF

ground reaction force (N)

hind

percentage of vertical ground force born by the hindlimbs during terrestrial locomotion

h

vertical distance traveled during a climbing bout (m)

M

body mass (kg)

Lskel

skeletal limb length (cm); the summed lengths of a limb’s long bones, e.g., femur + tibia

LE

effective limb length (cm); the length of a limb as a strut, typically measured as hip height while standing (Fig. 15.2).

lfasc

fascicle length (m); the mean fascicle length for an extensor muscle group

v

forward velocity (m s –1 ) during terrestrial locomotion

σ

force generated per cm2 of active muscle

tc

contact time (s); the period of foot-ground contact for one limb during one stride

Vact

volume of muscle (cm3) activated to support bodyweight during terrestrial locomotion

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Evie Vereecke and Kristiaan D’Août for inviting us to join this volume.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman Pontzer
    • 1
  • David A. Raichlen
  • Michael D. Sockol
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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