Living reference work entry
Movement using a combination of four limbs.
Quadrupedal locomotion encapsulates any form of progression in which four limbs support and propel the body. Quadrupedal movement represents the basal condition for all tetrapods and as such remains the most commonly utilized form of locomotion (see Fig. 1 and Granatosky 2018 for data on mammals). Interestingly, the origins of quadrupedal locomotion appear to predate the invasion onto land by tetrapods. Experimental studies on living sarcopterygians (i.e., lungfish and coelacanths) demonstrate that the neuromuscular patterns and functional subdivisions of the “limbs” required for effective quadrupedal locomotion were likely present in fully aquatic tetrapod ancestors prior to the invasion onto land (Aiello et al. 2014; Décamps et al. 2017; Fricke and Hissmann 1992).
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