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Terrestrial locomotion

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The various forms of movement of living things on land that enable them to self-propulsion


Terrestrial locomotion of animals has many forms. It may be manifested through running, swimming, hopping, walking, jumping, and crawling or slithering. These movements may be associated with the intent of an animal to locate food, a potential mate, or a suitable habitat. It may also be used for escaping predators. Survival has been one of the primary causes that enabled the occurrence of the various forms of locomotion on land. Terrestrial locomotion could indicate an evolutionary adaptation of certain animals from an aquatic to a terrestrial form of environment.

Just like any forms of locomotion, terrestrial locomotion would require to spend energy so as to overcome friction, drag, inertia, and gravity. In terrestrial locomotion, gravity is an important physical force that has to be dealt with by terrestrial animals. Thus, it can be expected that animals would have a strong skeletal and muscular framework in order to manage and control balance. Humans, for instance, have to go through developmental stages in order to master terrestrial locomotion. For instance, they learn to crawl first before they can learn to stand and eventually walk on their two feet. Movement by using appendages is the most common form of locomotion among terrestrial animals.


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