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Animal movement and its muscular control are central topics in functional morphology. As experimentalists we often manipulate stimuli in a controlled setting or compare species to observe the degree of variation in movement and motor control of particular behaviors. Understanding and communicating the biological significance of these sources of variability(More)
Locomotion is an integral aspect of the prey capture strategy of almost every predatory animal. For fishes that employ suction to draw prey into their mouths, locomotor movements are vital for the correct positioning of the mouth relative to the prey item. Despite this, little is known regarding the relationships between locomotor movements and prey(More)
Arboreal animals often move on surfaces with variable and steep inclines, but the changes in hindlimb muscle activity in response to incline are poorly understood. Thus, we studied the hindlimb muscle activity in the arboreal specialist, Chamaeleo calyptratus, moving up and down 45 degrees inclines and on a horizontal surface. We quantified electromyograms(More)
Maximum locomotor performance is crucial for capturing prey, escaping predators and many other behaviors. However, we know little about what defines maximum performance in vertebrates. Muscles drive the movement of the limbs during locomotion, and thus likely play a major role in defining locomotor capacity. For lizards, the iliofibularis, a swing-phase(More)
Lizards commonly climb in complex three-dimensional habitats, and gekkotans are particularly adept at doing this by using an intricate adhesive system involving setae on the ventral surface of their digits. However, it is not clear whether geckos always deploy their adhesive system, given that doing so may result in decreased (i.e. reduction in speed)(More)
Successful locomotion through complex, heterogeneous environments requires the muscles that power locomotion to function effectively under a wide variety of conditions. Although considerable data exist on how animals modulate both kinematics and motor pattern when confronted with orientation (i.e. incline) demands, little is known about the modulation of(More)
Many natural animal movements involve accelerating from a standstill and then stopping. Obstacles in natural environments often limit the straight-line distance available for movement, and decreased braking ability theoretically can limit speed for short distances. Consequently, braking ability can be important for avoiding collisions with obstacles and(More)
Differences in habitat use are often correlated with differences in morphology and behavior, while animals in similar habitats often exhibit similarities in form and function. However, this has not been tested extensively among lizards, especially geckos. Most studies of gecko locomotion have focused on the ability to adhere to surfaces. However, there are(More)
Locomotion arises from the complex and coordinated function of limb muscles. Yet muscle function is dynamic over the course of a single stride and between strides for animals moving at different speeds or on variable terrain. While it is clear that motor unit recruitment can vary between and within muscles, we know little about how work is distributed(More)
Animals must continually adapt to varying locomotor demands when moving in their natural habitat. Despite the dynamic nature of locomotion, little is known about how multiple muscles, and different parts of a muscle, are functionally integrated as demand changes. In order to determine the extent to which synergist muscles are functionally heterogeneous, and(More)