Terrestrial locomotion facts for kids
Terrestrial locomotion has evolved as animals adapted from aquatic to terrestrial places. Movement on land makes different problems than that on water, with less friction instead being the effects of gravity.
There are three basic forms of movement found among land animals:
- Legged - Moving by using legs
- Limbless locomotion - moving without legs, mostly using the body
- Rolling - rotating the bod
There are a number of land and amphibious limbless vertebrates and invertebrates. These animals, due to lack of legs, use their bodies to move. These movements are sometimes called to as "slithering" or "crawling".
Although animals have never have wheels for locomotion, some animals will move by rolling their whole body.
Limits and extremes
The fastest terrestrial animal is the cheetah, which can get speeds of about 104 km/h (64 mph).
- Walking fish
- Charig, A.J. (1972) The evolution of the archosaur pelvis and hind-limb: an explanation in functional terms. In Studies in Vertebrate Evolution (eds K.A.Joysey and T.S.Kemp). Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, pp. 121–55.
- Reilly, Stephen M. and Elias, Jason A. 1998, Locomotion in alligator mississippiensis: kinematic effects of speed and posture and their relevance to the sprawling-to-erect paradigm, J. exp. Biol 201,2559-2574.
- García-París, M. & Deban, S. M. 1995. A novel antipredator mechanism in salamanders: rolling escape in Hydromantes platycephalus. Journal of Herpetology 29, 149-151.
- Tenaza, R. R. 1975. Pangolins rolling away from predation risks. Journal of Mammalogy 56, 257.
Images for kids
The velvet worm (Onychophora)
Terrestrial locomotion Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.