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What is a four-legged animal called?

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Quick Answer

A four-legged animal is referred to as a "quadruped." With the exception of hominids, which are bipeds, most mammals in the animal kingdom are quadrupeds. Common examples include dogs, cats, zebras, lions and monkeys.

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Full Answer

Four-legged creatures use a quadrupedal form of terrestrial or arboreal locomotion that utilizes four limbs. Quadrupeds that are adapted to moving on land are characterized by several distinctive features, including narrow mid-sections, equally-long forelimbs and hind limbs, limited shoulder joint mobility, shortened tails and stubby digits.

Arboreal quadrupeds that predominantly live in trees share similar traits with terrestrial quadrupeds. These animals also have a slender thorax and equally-long frontal and hind legs. However, arboreal quadrupeds have movable shoulder joints, longer tails and longer digits, which are capable of grasping objects.

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