Title

Substrates and Settings: Quantifying Locomotor Performance in Functional and Ecological Contexts

Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

1-7-2017

Abstract

Animal locomotion has been studied extensively in the lab to understand the fundamental mechanisms required for stability, propulsion, endurance, and speed. Yet, quantifying and comparing these same types of parameters is much more difficult in the field and thus remains uncommon. We endeavor to shed light on several well-studied aspects of locomotion using a model species moving both in the lab on unnatural substrates and in the field on natural substrates. In the field, we measured the length of over 600 strides of a small lizard (Aspidoscelis sexlineata) to examine movement in a natural context. Furthermore, we measured escape velocity on a subset of animals and compared these data to sprint velocities captured in the lab on a two-meter photo-celled timed track. From lizard spoor, we found that stride length is not related to incline, heading, or path length, but that escape speed was related to path length, incline, and heading. We will present data on sprint and walking performance, as well as compare acceleration capacity on an artificial surface vs a nature sand substrate.

Sponsorship/Conference/Institution

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting (SICB)

Location

New Orleans, LA

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