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Animal Locomotion$
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Andrew Biewener and Sheila Patek

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743156

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198743156.001.0001

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Movement on Land

Movement on Land

(p.61) Chapter 4 Movement on Land
Animal Locomotion
Andrew A. Biewener, Shelia N. Patek
Oxford University Press

Animals must support their weight when moving over land, while also accommodating changes in terrain and substrate conditions. Most terrestrial animals accomplish this by using limbs to exert forces on the ground. Some groups have lost their limbs (snakes) or never evolved them in the first place (worms), relying instead on contractions of body muscles to transmit force between their body axis and the ground. Undulatory modes of terrestrial locomotion are frequently associated with a burrowing existence. In other animals, some combination of body undulation and limb propulsion moves the body forward. In this chapter we focus on the mechanisms and strategies for legged locomotion on land. Recent studies have examined how animals maneuver and accelerate, and how they stabilize body movements when running. A large body of work on terrestrial locomotion has also yielded inspiration for a new generation of legged robots that can move nimbly over irregular terrain than previous robot designs.

Keywords:   gait kinematics, ground force, joint torque, mechanical advantage, stability, maneuverability, dynamic similarity, spring-mass, collisional mechanics, robotics

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