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Foot placement cues used by chameleons while walking and climbing

Edward Saiff
Michael Vagell


Old world chameleons spend much time on branches of trees and shrubs. We studied the cues used by chameleons in positioning their feet while walking and climbing. Chameleons moving on dowels of varying position and diameter were videotaped to determine the sequence and location of each footfall. Visual cliff experiments tested whether chameleons used visual or tactile cues for limb placement. Visual cues appeared to provide the primary sensory input for forelimb placement. Whenever vision was impaired, the animal utilized touch. Placement of the forelimb was the locator for the hind limb. Regardless of perch diameter, the hind foot was placed fully or partially overlapping the position that the ipsilateral forefoot had just occupied.

(Journal of the Ghana Science Association: 2001 3(3): 22-29)

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eISSN: 0855-3823