Cursorial

A cursorial organism is one that is adapted specifically to run. An animal can be considered cursorial if it has the ability to run fast or if it can keep a constant speed for a long distance.


A cursorial organism is one that is adapted specifically to run. An animal can be considered cursorial if it has the ability to run fast or if it can keep a constant speed for a long distance. "Cursorial" is often used to categorize a certain locomotor mode, which is helpful for biologists who examine behaviors of different animals and the way they move in their environment. Cursorial adaptations can be identified by morphological characteristics, physiological characteristics, maximum speed, and how often running is used in life. There is much debate over how to define a cursorial animal specifically. The most accepted definitions include that a cursorial organism could be considered adapted to long-distance running at high speeds or has the ability to accelerate quickly over short distances. Among vertebrates, animals under 1 kg of mass are rarely considered cursorial, and cursorial behaviors and morphology is thought to only occur at relatively large body masses in mammals. There are a few mammals that have been termed "micro-cursors" that are less than 1 kg in mass and have the ability to run faster than other small animals of similar sizes.
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