Digitigrade locomotion

Upright locomotion with the toes at the end of the stance phase being in contact with the floor and the rest of the foot elevated; typical pattern involving heel strike to toes progression for bipedal locomotion in the human.  Species who do not have heel strike, and thus a plantigrade locomotion include wolves, dogs, rats, cats, lions, hippopotamidae, elephants (both partially), and apparently dinosaurs.  This form of digitigrade locomotion (i.e., without heel strike) can persist in some children with autism, and is evident in sprinters as they leave the starting blocks.  Some carnivore species also rely on a digitigrade stance to search out their prey, for example.  Unguligrade species also walk on their toes, but on their tips (see figure below).  Typically not toes, but hooves, they include horses and deer, and unguligrade locomotion enables them to extend stride length and so to move faster than digitigrade species who are often their predators. 

Examples of digitigrade, plantigrade and unguligrade locomotion in three representative species. Metatarsals are given in tray and ankle bones in black. 

See Autism, Babinski response, Gait, Locomotion, Plantigrade locomotion, Walking