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Activity Wheel. An activity wheel (also known as a running wheel or revolving drum) is a cage built in the shape of a wheel to measure the activity of an animal. The animal is confined inside and by moving, turns the wheel. Some models tether the animal to a rod that permits the animal to move on the rim rather than inside the wheel. Measures of activity are easily obtained by counting the number of rotations or distance traveled. It is useful when gross patterns of behavior are of interest. The apparatus is not useful if precise locomotor sequences are desired. In addition, the amount of activity may be overestimated because the movement of the wheel itself will encourage running. An example is a running wheel for the study of housefly behavior and a second is an example of a running wheel for the study of earthworm behavior.