Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


  • Dionisios Youlatos
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1466-1


To climb with difficulty or in a clumsy manner by using both hands and feet


The word clamber is derived from the Middle English words clamberen and clameren, which are akin to the German word klammern denoting the action of hooking oneself on or clinging firmly (Webster 1962). In relation to movement, it extends to a relatively awkward way of climbing, hooking, and clinging by using both hands and feet. Therefore, clambering appears to represent a mode of locomotion which incorporates the unstable, rather maladroit, way of negotiating rough and irregular vertical surfaces (e.g., cliffs) or navigating through unstable flexible branches in trees. Efficient clambering apparently requires cautious movements and strong holds.

Locomotion in Treetops

In the literature related to animal, and mainly mammalian locomotion, clambering describes body displacement in multiple directions (upward, horizontal, downward) using irregular quadrupedal (i.e., four-limbed) movements...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biology, Deptartment of ZoologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

Section editors and affiliations

  • Khalil Iskarous
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA