Bieke Vanhooydonck

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Morphological and physiological considerations suggest that sprinting ability and endurance capacity put conflicting demands on the design of an animal's locomotor apparatus and therefore cannot be maximized simultaneously. To test this hypothesis, we correlated size-corrected maximal sprint speed and stamina of 12 species of lacertid lizards.(More)
Although rapid adaptive changes in morphology on ecological time scales are now well documented in natural populations, the effects of such changes on whole-organism performance capacity and the consequences on ecological dynamics at the population level are often unclear. Here we show how lizards have rapidly evolved differences in head morphology, bite(More)
The evolution of alternative male phenotypes is probably driven by male-male competition for access to reproductive females, but few studies have examined whether whole-organism performance capacities differ between male morphs, and if so whether any such differences affect fighting ability. We show how ontogenetic changes in performance and morphology have(More)
A key assumption in evolutionary studies of locomotor adaptation is that standard laboratory measures of performance accurately reflect what animals do under natural circumstances. One widely examined measure of performance is maximum sprint speed, which is believed to be important for eluding predators, capturing prey, and defending territories. Previous(More)
Traditionally, it has been suggested that variation in locomotor mode should be correlated with variation in the anatomy of the structures responsible for locomotion. Indeed, organisms can expand their ecological niche by using specialized traits of the locomotor system including hooks, claws, adhesive pads, etc. Despite the fact that claws are the most(More)
We quantified four gait characteristics (stride length, stride frequency, step length and floating distance) over a range of running speeds in 11 lacertid lizard species known to vary in maximal sprint speed and microhabitat use. For each species, we measured snout-vent length (SVL), body mass and hindlimb length. We tested which variables determine sprint(More)
Physical performance by vertebrates is thought to be constrained by trade-offs between antagonistic pairs of ecologically relevant traits and between conflicting specialist and generalist phenotypes, but there is surprisingly little evidence to support this reasoning. Here we analyse the performance of world-class athletes in standardized decathlon events(More)
Feeding specializations such as herbivory are an often cited example of convergent and adaptive evolution. However, some groups such as lizards appear constrained in the evolution of morphological specializations associated with specialized diets. Here we examine whether the inclusion of plant matter into the diet of omnivorous lacertid lizards has resulted(More)
Although of prime ecological relevance, acceleration capacity is a poorly understood locomotor performance trait in terrestrial vertebrates. No empirical data exist on which design characteristics determine acceleration capacity among species and whether these design traits influence other aspects of locomotor performance. In this study we explore how(More)
Stride length, stride frequency and power output are all factors influencing locomotor performance. Here, we first test whether mass-specific power output limits climbing performance in two species of geckos (Hemidactylus garnoti and Gekko gecko) by adding external loads to their bodies. We then test whether body size has a negative effect on mass-specific(More)