Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Lance McBrayer

Committee Member 1

Michelle Cawthron

Committee Member 2

Ray Chandler

Abstract

Intermittent locomotion is a commonly used escape strategy with a wide array of potential benefits. Pausing may aid in locating a predator, crypsis, lowering energy costs, and avoiding obstacles. Turning may also benefit from intermittent locomotion by allowing an animal time to assess its surroundings; therefore, decreasing the chances of making a mistake and/or stumbling. Florida scrub lizards live in environments with a variety of obstacles such as turns. The goal of this study is to quantify the locomotor behavior and performance by lizards while navigating a 45° or 90° turn. Lizards were run along both a 45° and 90° racetrack. The number of trials with pauses and pause placement was collected as well as the mean speed before, in, and after a turn. When confronted with a turn, scrub lizards will utilize intermittent locomotion over continuous locomotion. Pausing in a turn will decrease the mean speed of a turn, but the results show that the linear speed entering the turn and exiting the turn are not significantly different. This finding indicates that acceleration, not speed is crucial in escaping when presented with a turn and therefore offsets the cost of intermittent locomotion on speed.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

No

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