Bone mass, architecture, and tissue mineral density contribute to bone strength. As body mass (BM) increases any one or combination of these properties could change to maintain structural integrity. To better understand the structural origins of vertebral fragility and gain insight into the mechanisms that govern bone adaptation, we conducted an integrative analysis of bone mass and microarchitecture in the last lumbar vertebral body from nine strepsirhine species, ranging in size from 42 g (Microcebus rufus) to 2,440 g (Eulemur macaco). Bone mass and architecture were assessed via μCT for the whole body and spherical volumes of interest (VOI). Allometric equations were estimated and compared with predictions for geometric scaling, assuming axial compression as the dominant loading regime. Bone mass, microarchitectural, and vertebral body geometric variables predominantly scaled isometrically. Among structural variables, the degree of anisotropy (Tb.DA) was the only parameter independent of BM and other trabecular architectural variables. Tb.DA was related to positional behavior. Orthograde primates had higher average Tb.DA (1.60) and more craniocaudally oriented trabeculae while lorisines had the lowest Tb.DA (1.25), as well as variably oriented trabeculae. Finally, lorisines had the highest ratio of trabecular bone volume to cortical shell volume (∼3x) and while there appears to be flexibility in this ratio, the total bone volume (trabecular + cortical) scales isometrically (BM1.23, r2 = 0.93) and appears tightly constrained. The common pattern of isometry in our measurements leaves open the question of how vertebral bodies in strepsirhine species compensate for increased BM.
- Cortical bone
- Lumbar vertebra
- Trabecular bone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics