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6.17: Locomotion

Different animals place different parts of the foot or forelimb on the ground when walking or running.

Humans and bears put the whole surface of the foot on the ground when they walk. This is known as plantigrade locomotion. Dogs and cats walk on their toes (digitigrade locomotion) while horses and pigs walk on their “toenails” or hoofs. This is called unguligrade locomotion (see diagram 6.20).

  1. Plantigrade locomotion (on the “palms of the hand) as in humans and bears
  2. Digitigrade locomotion (on the “fingers”) as in cats and dogs
  3. Unguligrade locomotion (on the “fingernails”) as in horses

Anatomy and physiology of animals Locomotion.jpg

Diagram 6.20 - Locomotion

Contributors

  • Ruth Lawson (Otago Polytechnic; Dunedin, New Zealand)