From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary



(1) Of, relating to, or pertaining to, a tree

(2) Pertaining to moving about, living in or among trees


In biological context, arboreal is a descriptive term used to associate with trees. For instance, a form of locomotion wherein organisms move about in trees is called an arboreal locomotion. Movements such as climbing, swinging, or gripping on trees are examples of arboreal locomotion and animals that are adapted for this kind of locomotion are called arboreal animals. Examples of arboreal animals are squirrels, koalas, primates, sloths, spider monkeys, leopards, chameleons, geckos, bats, tree frogs, snakes, birds, lizards, and tree snails. These animals spend most (some all) of their time among trees. Leopards, for instance, are capable of taking their prey on trees or above ground to avoid other predators that might compete with their food. Arboreal animals are very well adapted to staying or hanging on to trees. Many of them have little bodies and clawed or sticky feet. Some of them, such as tree porcupines, chameleons, spider monkeys, and possums, have prehensile tails that they use to grasp tree branches.

Word origin: Latin arboreus, from arbor, (tree)



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  • arboreal locomotion

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