noun (plural tarsiˈtärsī-sē)
1 Anatomy A group of small bones between the main part of the hind limb and the metatarsus in terrestrial vertebrates. The seven bones of the human tarsus form the ankle and upper part of the foot. They are the talus, calcaneus, navicular, and cuboid and the three cuneiform bones.
- Actually, it turns out that the ferrungulate tarsus is a fairly apt study for the understanding of ankles, assuming that one is apt to study such things at all.
- An influential contribution is that of Szalay, who linked Australian taxa to one group among the South American radiation, based on structure of the tarsus.
1.1 Zoology The shank or tarsometatarsus of the leg of a bird or reptile.
- Preserved bones of the tarsus include the astragalus, calcaneum, and medial centrale.
- They show adaptations for underwater swimming, including flattened tarsi and humeri, and shorter wings and higher wing-loading than most other petrels.
- From 1983 to 1997, trapping teams captured adults at nest sites and banded each unmarked bird with a numbered band on the right tarsus and an alpha-numeric color band on the left tarsus.
1.2 Zoology The foot or fifth joint of the leg of an insect or other arthropod, typically consisting of several small segments and ending in a claw.
- Both sexes have a pair of ‘spurs’ on each hind leg where the tibia, or fourth leg segment, joins the tarsus, or foot.
- Using her senses of sight and smell, a female butterfly detects a potential host plant from a distance but makes a final determination only after alighting on a leaf and tasting it with the receptors on her tarsi, or feet.
- In addition to the pretarsus, tarsus, tibia and femur, insects have two proximal (closer to the body) segments not shown in the figure.
Late Middle English: modern Latin, from Greek tarsos 'flat of the foot, the eyelid'.