A paper by Leszek Rychlik (Department of Systematic Zoology) and collaborators (from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) about arboreal locomotion in the feathertail glider (Acrobates pygmaeus) appeared in the Journal of Human Evolution (Q1 in Anthropology). The authors demonstrate a strong preference of A. pygmaeus for small and horizontal substrates, avoidance of large and vertical ones, and the dominant use of hallucal grasping. They also present a diverse positional repertoire composed of quadrupedalism, clambering, climbing and gliding. This study indicates that extant small mammals, such as the feathertail glider, are good models to understand the evolution of adaptations to arboreal locomotion in early extinct euprimates, especially because we cannot infer about this based exclusively on their fossils.

The paper is available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2018.07.007