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This paper uses techniques from evolutionary robotics to predict the most energy-efficient upright walking gait for the early human relative Australopithecus afarensis, based on the proportions of the 3.2 million year old AL 288-1 'Lucy' skeleton, and matches predictions against the nearly contemporaneous (3.5-3.6 million year old) Laetoli fossil footprint(More)
Maximum running speed is an important locomotor parameter for many animals-predators as well as prey-and is thus of interest to palaeobiologists wishing to reconstruct the behavioural ecology of extinct species. A variety of approaches have been tried in the past including anatomical comparisons, bone scaling and strength, safety factors and ground reaction(More)
We tend to assume that natural selection will bring about 'optimal' configurations in morphology and behaviour. Jumping locomotion involves large forces and energy costs which, in this non-cyclic activity, are generated anew with each jump. Jumping appears to be, therefore, a major target for optimization. It has been a standard assumption that jumpers will(More)
It is commonly held that the major functional features of the human foot (e.g. a functional longitudinal medial arch, lateral to medial force transfer and hallucal (big-toe) push-off) appear only in the last 2 Myr, but functional interpretations of footbones and footprints of early human ancestors (hominins) prior to 2 million years ago (Mya) remain(More)
Body mass reconstructions of extinct vertebrates are most robust when complete to near-complete skeletons allow the reconstruction of either physical or digital models. Digital models are most efficient in terms of time and cost, and provide the facility to infinitely modify model properties non-destructively, such that sensitivity analyses can be conducted(More)
The lunge is regularly used in badminton and is recognized for the high physical demands it places on the lower limbs. Despite its common occurrence, little information is available on the biomechanics of lunging in the singles game. A video-based pilot study confirmed the relatively high frequency of lunging, approximately 15% of all movements, in(More)
Non-destructive Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) mapping of Eocene aged fossil reptile skin shows that biological control on the distribution of endogenous organic components within fossilized soft tissue can be resolved. Mapped organic functional units within this approximately 50 Myr old specimen from the Green River Formation (USA) include amide and(More)
Accelerometry data were transmitted by a radio collar attached to a hand-reared red-ruffed lemur housed in a large indoor/outdoor enclosure at Chester Zoo. An observer simultaneously recorded locomotor behaviour using a manually operated event recorder. Both data streams were recorded directly to hard disk to ensure accurate synchrony. Leaps were modelled(More)
Obtaining quantitative data describing the movements of animals is an essential step in understanding their locomotor biology. Outside the laboratory, measuring animal locomotion often relies on video-based approaches and analysis is hampered because of difficulties in calibration and often the limited availability of possible camera positions. It is also(More)