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Historically, the study of swimming eels (genus Anguilla) has been integral to our understanding of the mechanics and muscle activity patterns used by fish to propel themselves in the aquatic environment. However, no quantitative kinematic analysis has been reported for these animals. Additionally, eels are known to make transient terrestrial excursions,(More)
Understanding how animals actually use their muscles during locomotion is an important goal in the fields of locomotor physiology and biomechanics. Active muscles in vivo can shorten, lengthen or remain isometric, and their mechanical performance depends on the relative magnitude and timing of these patterns of fascicle strain and activation. It has(More)
Sonomicrometry and electromyography were used to determine how surface grade influences strain and activation patterns in the biceps femoris and vastus lateralis of the rat. Muscle activity is generally present during much of stance and is most intense on an incline, intermediate on the level, and lowest on a decline, where the biceps remains inactive(More)
Many anurans use their hindlimbs to generate propulsive forces during both jumping and swimming. To investigate the musculoskeletal dynamics and motor output underlying locomotion in such physically different environments, we examined patterns of muscle strain and activity using sonomicrometry and electromyography, respectively, during jumping and swimming(More)
Representatives of nearly all vertebrate classes are capable of coordinated movement through aquatic and terrestrial environments. Though there are good data from a variety of species on basic patterns of muscle recruitment during locomotion in a single environment, we know much less about how vertebrates use the same musculoskeletal structures to(More)
During jumping or falling in humans and various other mammals, limb muscles are activated before landing, and the intensity and timing of this pre-landing activity are scaled to the expected impact. In this study, we test whether similarly tuned anticipatory muscle activity is present in hopping cane toads. Toads use their forelimbs for landing, and we(More)
Much of what we know about animal locomotion is derived from studies examining animals moving within a single, homogeneous environment, at a steady speed and along a flat grade. As a result, the issue of how musculoskeletal function might shift to accommodate variability within the external environment has remained relatively unexplored. One possibility is(More)
Voluntary loss of an appendage, or autotomy, is a remarkable behavior that is widespread among many arthropods and lower vertebrates. Its immediate benefit, generally escape from a predator, is balanced by various costs, including impaired locomotor performance, reproductive success and long-term survival. Among vertebrates, autotomy is most widespread in(More)
Eels (Anguilla rostrata) are known to make occasional transitory excursions into the terrestrial environment. While on land, their locomotor kinematics deviate drastically from that observed during swimming. In this study, electromyographic (EMG) recordings were made from white muscle at various longitudinal positions in eels performing undulatory(More)
Unlike homologous muscles in many vertebrates, which appear to function similarly during a particular mode of locomotion (e.g. red muscle in swimming fish, pectoralis muscle in flying birds, limb extensors in jumping and swimming frogs), a major knee extensor in mammalian quadrupeds, the vastus lateralis, appears to operate differently in different species(More)