Functional morphology of the locomotor system in the northern smooth-tailed tree shrew (Dendrogale murina)

Ann Anat. 1999 Jul;181(4):397-402. doi: 10.1016/S0940-9602(99)80137-X.


The locomotor system of the northern smooth-tailed tree shrew (Dendrogale murina), one of the arboreal species of Scandentia, was examined by means of macroscopic anatomy. In this study, we describe the muscular system in the shoulder, forearm, hip and crural regions. The M. deltoideus and the acromion of the scapula were well-developed. The characteristic postscapular fossa was distinguishable in the scapula. The M. teres major and M. triceps brachii possessed large bundles and were attached to the postscapular fossa. In the hindlimb region, the M. biceps femoris was inserted into large area of distal hindlimb. The M. tenuissimus was discernible beneath the M. biceps femoris. We suggest that these findings may contribute to our understanding of arboreal locomotion in this species, and that this may typically represent the arboreal adaptational pattern of the muscular system in the Scandentia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Bone and Bones / physiology*
  • Forelimb
  • Hindlimb
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Tupaiidae / anatomy & histology*
  • Tupaiidae / physiology*