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Biol Lett. Jun 23, 2010; 6(3): 387–388.
Published online Apr 21, 2010. doi:  10.1098/rsbl.2010.0294
PMCID: PMC2880073
A moving topic: control and dynamics of animal locomotion
Andrew Biewener1 and Thomas Daniel2*
1Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 01730, USA
2Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
*Author for correspondence (danielt/at/
Received March 26, 2010; Accepted March 29, 2010.
Animal locomotion arises from complex interactions among sensory systems, processing of sensory information into patterns of motor output, the musculo-skeletal dynamics that follow motor stimulation, and the interaction of appendages and body parts with the environment. These processes conspire to produce motions and forces that permit stunning manoeuvres with important ecological and evolutionary consequences. Thus, the habitats that animals may exploit, their ability to escape predators or attack prey, their capacity to manoeuvre and turn, or the use of their available energy all depend upon the processes that determine locomotion. Here, we summarize a series of 10 papers focused on this integrative research topic.
Keywords: animal locomotion, sensory systems, motor control, biomechanics
Articles from Biology Letters are provided here courtesy of
The Royal Society