Modern computer-aided techniques foster the availability and quality of 3D visualization and reconstruction of extinct and extant species. Moreover, animated sequences of locomotion and other movements find their way into motion pictures and documentary films, but also gain attraction in science. While movement analysis is well advanced in vertebrates, particularly in mammals and birds, analyses in arthropods, with their much higher variability regarding general anatomy and size, are still in their infancies and restricted to a few laboratory species. These restrictions and deficient understanding of terrestrial arthropod locomotion in general impedes sensible reconstruction of movements in those species that are not directly observable (e.g., extinct and cryptic species). Since shortcomings like over-simplified approaches to simulate arthropod locomotion became obvious recently, in this review we provide insight into physical, morphological, physiological, behavioral, and ecological constraints, which are essential for sensible reconstructions of terrestrial arthropod locomotion. Such concerted consideration along with sensible evaluations of stability and efficiency requirements can pave the way to realistic assessment of leg coordination and body dynamics.
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Vol. 89 • No. 6