Plantigrade Locomotion

What is plantigrade locomotion?

Plantigrade locomotion is the way some animals walk with their toes and metatarsals (heels) flat on the ground.

Terrestrial (land) mammals have three ways of walking:

(1) digitigrade (walking on their toes with their heels permanently raised),

(2) unguligrade (walking on the nail of their toes – the hoof – with the heel permanently raised), and 

(3) plantigrade (walking with their toes and heels on the ground).

The leg of a plantigrade mammal includes the bones of the upper leg, called the femur and humerus, and the bones of the lower leg, called the metatarsals and metacarpals. 

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American Wood Bison

The American Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the bovine (cattle) family. It is a bisonid. It is an artiodactyl, because it is cloven (split) hooved. It is also known as the American Buffalo, and is closely related to the European Bison, which is also called the European Wisent.

The American Wood Bison has a shaggy dark-brown coat of fur with a massive head. It is broad and muscular. Both the male and female have short, curved horns.

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Golden Lion Tamarin

The Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) is an endangered mammal in the Callitrichidae family of small monkeys. It is also known as the Golden Marmoset. 

The Golden Lion Tamarin has bright reddish-orange fur with a mane around its face and ears. Its face is dark and hairless. It has elongated hands and fingers, with claw-like nails which enable it to cling to tree trunks. 

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Lowland Anoa

The Lowland Anoa (Bubalus depressicornis) is an endangered ungulate (hoofed) bovid species of wild cattle in the water buffalo family. It is also known as the Midget Buffalo. Another species of the Midget Buffalo is the Mountain Anoa (Bubalus quarlesi). It is related to the Asian Water Buffalo. 

The Lowland Anoa is similar in appearance to a miniature Asian Water Buffalo. It has a strong body with brown-black fur. The male is darker in colour than the female. It has short upright horns. The female has shorter horns than the male.

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African Giant Pouched Rat

The African Pouched Rat (Cricetomys gambianus) is a muroid rodent. It is also known as the Gambian Pouched Rat. It is not a true rat. It has pouched cheeks like a Hamster. 

The African Pouched Rat has a long grey-reddish furred body, light-coloured tail, pink ears, and a pink-grey nose. It has long incisor teeth. 

It has an excellent sense of smell. African Pouched Rats can detect land mines and tuberculosis.

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Giant Panda

The Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a mammal in the bear family. It is also known as a Panda Bear.

The Giant Panda has smooth, thick, black and white fur. It has black patches around its eyes, over it ears, and across its body. It has five fingers and an enlarged bone called the pseudo thumb, which enables it to grip bamboo shoots. Its face is round with round black ears.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Large Hairy Armadillo

The Large Hairy Armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus) is a mammal related to the Anteater and the Sloth. 

The Large Hairy Armadillo has a series of thin, grey bony plates along its head and back. This leathery shell is called a carapace. Its pinkish-white underbelly is covered in long, coarse hair. It has long, powerful claws on its front legs for digging. It has a long snout (nose), small beige ears, and small eyes. 

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