AskDefine | Define forelimb

Dictionary Definition

forelimb n : the front limb (or homologous structure in other animals such as a flipper or wing)

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The anterior limb (or equivalent appendage) of an animal


Extensive Definition

N.B. This page cannot be considered a completely reliable source of information. In its original form (before partial correction), it was a direct copy of an entry in the TutorGig (online) Encyclopedia, thus flouting the Wikipedia rules. Worse still, the source-page – and hence its direct copy – contained several serious typographical errors, suggesting that little care had been taken in writing (and perhaps in researching) the entry. Nevertheless, after correction, the only doubt remaining is the use of the term 'omothoracic', which is to be found nowhere on the Internet other than on this page and on the source-page at The term may well be correct, but given the slipshod nature of the original encyclopedia entry, it should not be relied upon without consultation of secondary sources. Clarification would be welcomed.
A forelimb is an anterior (front-most) limb (arm, leg, or similar appendage) on an animal's body. When referring to quadrupeds (four-legged animals), the term foreleg is often instead used.
The term is not to be confused with the forearm, which refers to a segment of the arm between the elbow and the wrist.
The joint between the thoracic limb and the trunk is called the omothoracic junction (but note comments above).
It is a form of synsarcosis, which means that it is the union of parts of the skeleton by muscles.
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