The Correlation Between Locomotor Performance and Hindlimb Kinematics During Burst Locomotion in the Florida Scrub Lizard, Sceloporus woodi

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We present data on the three-dimensional hindlimb kinematics during burst locomotion, and the relationship between burst locomotor kinematics and locomotor performance in a small terrestrial lizard (Sceloporus woodi). Considerable variation in hindlimb kinematics and performance was observed across the first three strides of burst locomotion. Stride one was defined by larger joint angular excursions at the knee and ankle; by stride three, the knee and ankle showed smaller joint angular excursions. The hip swept through similar arcs across all strides with most of the motion being due to femoral retraction and rotation. Metatarsophalangeal (MTP) kinematics exhibited smaller maximum angles on stride one compared to strides two and three. The significant correlations between angular kinematics and locomotor performance were different across the first three strides. For stride one, MTP kinematics predicted final maximum running speed; this correlation is likely explained by a correlation between stride one MTP kinematics and stride two acceleration performance. For stride three, several aspects of joint kinematics at each joint predicted maximum running speed. These findings suggest that studies of burst locomotion should perform analyses on a stride-by-stride basis and avoid combining data from different strides across the burst locomotor event. The kinematic-performance correlations observed in S. woodi were different from other species; suggesting a single unifying model across species may be elusive.


Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting (SICB)


Charleston, SC