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Plantigrade: Wikis


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Human skeleton, showing plantigrade habit

In mammals, plantigrade locomotion means walking with the podials and metatarsals flat on the ground. Primates are examples of plantigrade species; in humans, the podials and metatarsals constitute the sole of the foot. Other plantigrade species examples include (but are not limited to) raccoons, opossums, bears, kangaroo, weasels, mice, pandas, rats, hyraxes, skunks and hedgehogs.

The members of the extinct mammalian order Creodonta displayed plantigrade locomotion. This may have led to their extinction as they were supplanted by the more efficient Carnivora. It seems that at least some pterosaurs and lizards were plantigrade as well.

Plantigrade foot occurs normally in humans in static postures of standing and sitting. It should also occur normally in gait (walking). Hypertonicity, spasticity, clonus, limited range of motion, abnormal flexion neural pattern, and a plantarflexor (calf) muscle contracture may contribute to an individual only standing and/or walking on his toes. This would be evident by the observable heel rise.


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