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brachiation

[brey-kee-ey-shuh n, brak-ee-] /ˌbreɪ kiˈeɪ ʃən, ˌbræk i-/
noun, Zoology
1.
locomotion accomplished by swinging by the arms from one hold to another.
Origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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brachiation in Science
brachiation
  (brā'kē-ā'shən, brāk'ē-)   
Movement in which the suspended body swings by the arms from one hold to another, as in gibbons and arboreal primates. Adaptations used in brachiation, such as relatively long arms and a freely rotating shoulder joint, may have contributed to the development of bipedalism in protohumans.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for brachiation

in animal behaviour, specialized form of arboreal locomotion in which movement is accomplished by swinging from one hold to another by the arms. The process is highly developed in the gibbon and siamang, which are anatomically adapted for it in the length of their forelimbs, their long hooklike fingers, and the mobility of their shoulder joints. The South American spider monkey, considered a semibrachiator, uses its prehensile tail as a third arm. Spider monkeys both run along branches and swing from them.

Learn more about brachiation with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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