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Cursorial

A vocabulary word to join crepuscular in the animal behavior scrapbook: cursorial, referring to a creature specifically adapted to run. ("Cursor" comes from the same root.) I saw "cursorial" first in the book Why We Run: a Natural History by Bernd Heinrich. The Wikipedia definition mentions arboreal, which I knew had to do with living in trees, and the neat-looking fossorial, "... adapted to digging and life underground such as the badger ...".

Which of course reminds me of one of my favorite lines in The Wind in the Willows (1983 animated film version), when curmudgeonly Badger declines an invitation to join friends for dinner with, "I've got a prior engagement: I'm dining alone!"

^z - 2010-08-21