brachiation

/bray'kee ay"sheuhn, brak'ee-/, n. Zool.
locomotion accomplished by swinging by the arms from one hold to another.
[BRACHIATE + -ION]

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      in animal behaviour, specialized form of arboreal locomotion in which movement is accomplished by swinging from one hold to another by the arms. The process is highly developed in the gibbon and siamang, which are anatomically adapted for it in the length of their forelimbs, their long hooklike fingers, and the mobility of their shoulder joints. The South American spider monkey, considered a semibrachiator, uses its prehensile tail as a third arm. Spider monkeys both run along branches and swing from them.

      Because bipedal locomotion is the terrestrial form of movement in the true brachiators, some researchers believe that the human species may have evolved from a protobrachiator. Other researchers have tried to demonstrate that the so-called knuckle-walking apes (e.g., the gorilla) are descended from brachiating ancestors. They base this theory on the characteristically long arms and curved fingers of knuckle-walkers.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brachiation — (from limb or branch ) is a form of arboreal locomotion in which primates swing from tree limb to tree limb using only their arms. Brachiators The only true brachiators are the lesser apes (gibbons and siamangs). A gibbon can brachiate at speeds… …   Wikipedia

  • brachiation — [ brakjasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1964; probablt angl. brachiation (1889); du lat. brachium « bras » ♦ Zool. Mode de déplacement de certains singes arboricoles à l aide des bras par balancement de branche en branche. ● brachiation nom féminin Mode de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • brachiation — noun Movement by swinging the arms from one hold to the next. Species that normally move by brachiation (swinging from hand to hand while hanging from supports) or vertical leaping and clinging require substantially different cage designs from… …   Wiktionary

  • Brachiation — La brachiation est la manière dont se déplacent certains singes en se balançant d une branche à l autre à l aide des bras. Portail des mammifères Catégories : LocomotionSinge …   Wikipédia en Français

  • brachiation — noun see brachiate …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • brachiation — bra·chi·a·tion (bra″ke aґshən) [brachi + ation suffix implying action] locomotion in a position of suspension by means of the hands and arms, as exhibited by monkeys when swinging from branch to branch …   Medical dictionary

  • brachiation — n. process of branching out, process of putting forth arms …   English contemporary dictionary

  • brachiation — brach·i·a·tion …   English syllables

  • brachiation — bra•chi•a•tion [[t]ˌbreɪ kiˈeɪ ʃən, ˌbræk i [/t]] n. zool. locomotion accomplished by swinging by the arms from one hold to another bra′chi•a tor, n …   From formal English to slang

  • brachiation — The act of swinging through the trees, such as performed by monkeys …   Grandiloquent dictionary

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