Presentation Title

The Functional Morphology of the Axial and Appendicular Skeleton with Regards to Habitat Preference and Locomotion in the Genus Sceloporus

Location

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Session Format

Poster Presentation

Research Area Topic:

Natural & Physical Sciences - Biology

Abstract

The functional morphology of both the axial and appendicular skeleton in the genus Sceloporus is a major topic of interest, especially with regards to habitat preference and locomotion. Theoretically, habitat preference drives the physiological change a lizard experiences in the skeletal system. A lizard climbing vertically on trees exhibits different stressors than one which lives on rocks or on the ground. These stressors are amplified particularly on bones such as the shoulder girdle. This information has yet to be quantified within the genus Sceloporus. Data will be collected to measure these effects by photographing the shoulder girdle of several species within the genus that utilize distinct habitat types. Comparative analysis using software such as TPSdig and MorphoJ will allow me to detect any significant changes in the shape and size of the shoulder girdle across the phylogenetic tree. Furthermore, I plan to expand upon locomotor performance by looking at the function of the forelimbs when a lizard runs using just its two hind feet (bipedal locomotion). In order for a lizard to run bipedally, the nose of the lizard lifts off the ground such that a change in the center of mass must occurs. Past models show that the body’s acceleration and the angle of the trunk and tail play a role in the transition from quadrupedal to bipedal locomotion. However this type of motion typically is not sustained without input from the front limbs. Using Sceloporus woodi (the Florida Scrub Lizard), an ethogram will be created to predict behavioral patterns when running. Once the patterns of locomotion are mapped out, I will collect center of mass (CoM) data on both the trunk and the limb segments for each lizard tested. Using a 3D printer, a plastic mold of the species will be created to model the mass and changes of CoM distribution for each lizard. I predict that there will be a significant difference in the shape of the shoulder girdle between the different habitat types. I further predict that S. woodi will have a predictable running pattern and the forelimbs will play a significant role in the transition to bipedal locomotion. These data will provide invaluable insight into not only the morphology of the lizard and the pressures of its habitat, but also how it copes with moving through the habitat using bipedal locomotion. By conducting this work, habitat and management implications can be provided and updated to ensure habitat quality and abundance for the genus Sceloporus.

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-16-2016 10:45 AM

End Date

4-16-2016 12:00 PM

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Apr 16th, 10:45 AM Apr 16th, 12:00 PM

The Functional Morphology of the Axial and Appendicular Skeleton with Regards to Habitat Preference and Locomotion in the Genus Sceloporus

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

The functional morphology of both the axial and appendicular skeleton in the genus Sceloporus is a major topic of interest, especially with regards to habitat preference and locomotion. Theoretically, habitat preference drives the physiological change a lizard experiences in the skeletal system. A lizard climbing vertically on trees exhibits different stressors than one which lives on rocks or on the ground. These stressors are amplified particularly on bones such as the shoulder girdle. This information has yet to be quantified within the genus Sceloporus. Data will be collected to measure these effects by photographing the shoulder girdle of several species within the genus that utilize distinct habitat types. Comparative analysis using software such as TPSdig and MorphoJ will allow me to detect any significant changes in the shape and size of the shoulder girdle across the phylogenetic tree. Furthermore, I plan to expand upon locomotor performance by looking at the function of the forelimbs when a lizard runs using just its two hind feet (bipedal locomotion). In order for a lizard to run bipedally, the nose of the lizard lifts off the ground such that a change in the center of mass must occurs. Past models show that the body’s acceleration and the angle of the trunk and tail play a role in the transition from quadrupedal to bipedal locomotion. However this type of motion typically is not sustained without input from the front limbs. Using Sceloporus woodi (the Florida Scrub Lizard), an ethogram will be created to predict behavioral patterns when running. Once the patterns of locomotion are mapped out, I will collect center of mass (CoM) data on both the trunk and the limb segments for each lizard tested. Using a 3D printer, a plastic mold of the species will be created to model the mass and changes of CoM distribution for each lizard. I predict that there will be a significant difference in the shape of the shoulder girdle between the different habitat types. I further predict that S. woodi will have a predictable running pattern and the forelimbs will play a significant role in the transition to bipedal locomotion. These data will provide invaluable insight into not only the morphology of the lizard and the pressures of its habitat, but also how it copes with moving through the habitat using bipedal locomotion. By conducting this work, habitat and management implications can be provided and updated to ensure habitat quality and abundance for the genus Sceloporus.