Morphofunctional study of the digging system of the Namib Desert Golden mole (Eremitalpa granti namibensis): cinefluorographical and anatomical analysis

Authors

  • J. P. Gasc,

    1. CNRS Equipe “Locomotion animale”, Unité 1137 associée au Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. Laboratoire d'Anatomie comparée, 55, rue Buffon, 75005 PARIS, France
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  • F. K. Jouffroy,

    1. CNRS Equipe “Locomotion animale”, Unité 1137 associée au Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. Laboratoire d'Anatomie comparée, 55, rue Buffon, 75005 PARIS, France
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  • S. Renous,

    1. CNRS Equipe “Locomotion animale”, Unité 1137 associée au Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. Laboratoire d'Anatomie comparée, 55, rue Buffon, 75005 PARIS, France
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  • F. Von Blottnitz

    1. Postfach 971, 9000 Swakopmund, Namibie
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Abstract

Digging locomotion of Namib Golden moles has been studied by making X–ray cinematograph films, and the morphology of their locomotor system investigated by means of radiographs and dissections. Biomechanical interpretations of the data so obtained show that moving forwards results from a cyclical compacting and decompacting of the surrounding sand. The whole step–cycle IS made up of a buttressing phase followed by several digging propulsion phases.

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