Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lizard hunting styles impact ability to walk, run

23.04.2008
Foraging sheds light on evolution of biomechanics

The technique lizards use to grab their grub influences how they move, according to researchers at Ohio University.

A research team led by doctoral student Eric McElroy tracked 18 different species of lizards as they walked or ran in order to understand how their foraging styles impact their biomechanics. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, was featured in the April 1 edition of the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Lizards use two basic foraging techniques. In the first approach, aptly dubbed sit-and-wait, lizards spend most of their time perched in one location waiting for their prey to pass. Then, with a quick burst of speed, they run after their prey, snatching it up with their tongues.

... more about:
»Speed »ability »foraging »prey »run »styles »technique

In the other form of foraging, known as wide or active foraging, lizards move constantly but very slowly in their environment, using their chemosensory system to stalk their prey, according to the research team, which included McElroy’s adviser Stephen Reilly, professor of biological sciences, and undergraduate honors thesis student Kristin Hickey.

Although wide foraging evolved from the sit-and-wait technique, these two styles are almost opposites. Some wide foragers are on the move about 80 percent of the time while sit-and-wait foragers may move only about 10 percent of the time, said Reilly, co-author of a recent book on the topic, Lizard Ecology, published by the Cambridge University Press.

While all lizards have the ability to run, a predatory defense mechanism, the study found that sit-and-wait lizards won’t walk. Lizards that use the sit-and-wait method of foraging use running mechanics even when moving at slower speeds.

Wide foragers, however, evolved a walking gait and mechanics. They must move at slower speeds in order to use their advanced chemosensory system to locate their prey.

Foraging and locomotion are so closely linked, in fact, that three groups of wide foragers that had reverted to using the sit-and-wait technique actually lost the ability to walk, the researchers reported.

“The most interesting aspect of this research is that it demonstrates a clear link between animal behavior and functional morphology. It’s quite amazing and surprising that the behavioral diversity that everyone knows about and is inspired by is grounded in form, function and physiology,” McElroy said.

The researchers used a race track with a built-in force plate to record the forces generated by the lizards and a high-speed video camera to record each critter moving at various speeds. The scientists collected data from the force plate and analyzed the video to determine whether the lizard was using running or walking mechanics.

The study used a large, representative sample of lizards made up of 18 different species, such as skinks, iguanas and monitor lizards. This extensive study uses one of the largest data sets for center of mass mechanics, McElroy said, and is one of the few that focuses on reptiles instead of mammals.

“Everybody works with people, dogs or horses. But they’re all freaks,” Reilly said. “They’ve gone erect, they have extra joints. They are the kings of bouncing vaulting and running fast. We are working on the sprawlers.”

Andrea Gibson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohio.edu

Further reports about: Speed ability foraging prey run styles technique

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>