The majority of terrestrial locomotion studies have focused on parasagittal motion and paid less attention to forces or movement in the frontal plane. Our previous research has shown that grizzly bears produce higher medial ground reaction forces (lateral pushing from the animal) than would be expected for an upright mammal, suggesting frontal plane movement may be an important aspect of their locomotion. To examine this, we conducted an inverse dynamics analysis in sagittal and frontal planes, using ground reaction forces and position data from three high speed cameras of four adult female grizzly bears. Over the speed range collected, the bears used walks, running walks, and canters. The scapulohumeral joint, wrist, and the limb overall absorb energy (average total net work of the forelimb joints=-0.97 Wkg−1). The scapulohumeral, elbow, and total net work of the forelimb joints have negative relationships with speed, resulting in more energy absorbed by the forelimb at higher speeds (running walks and canters). The net joint moment and power curves maintain similar patterns across speed as previously studied species, suggesting grizzly bears maintain similar joint dynamics to other mammalian quadrupeds. There is no significant relationship with net work and speed at any joint in the frontal plane. The total net work of the forelimb joints in the frontal plane is not significantly different from zero, suggesting that, despite the high medial ground reaction forces, the forelimb is acting as a strut in that plane.
- Received March 22, 2016.
- Accepted January 24, 2017.
- © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd