The role of tendon elasticity in the locomotion of the camel (Camelus dromedarius)



Several ofthe distal leg muscles ofcamels have very short or even rudimentary muscle fibres. This makes it possible to calculate the elastic extensions of tendons that occur in running, from the leg positions observed in films. A series of experiments have been performed for this purpose on the dissected legs of a camel. The initial conclusions derived from them are modified in the light of estimates of the forces that act on the tendons, and of measurements of the elastic properties of one tendon. Evidence for movement at the intertarsal and tarso-metatarsal joints. and the corresponding joints of the fore leg, is examined. The importance of the various tendons as elastic energy stores in running is assessed.