Feet First

Animal feet come in a staggering array of forms and functions, and may serve other purposes beyond locomotion.

Feet can also dig, defend, stick, smell, kick, hang, perch, communicate, or grab. Some are flat footed, tippy-toed, or toenail walking, and may sport claws or nails. Mammal feet are typically flexible assemblies of bones, joints, muscles, and tissues that efficiently serve an animal's lifestyle. Here is a quick walk through some diverse footwear.

BY Karyl Carmignani

Illustrations by Amy Blandford

(Photo by: Patrick_Gijsbers/iStock/Getty Images Plus)