Title
Do all frogs swim alike? The effect of ecological specialization on swimming kinematics in frogs Do all frogs swim alike? The effect of ecological specialization on swimming kinematics in frogs
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Biology
Human medicine
Source (journal)
The journal of experimental biology. - London
Volume/pages
217(2014) :20 , p. 3637-3644
ISSN
0022-0949
ISI
000343933700009
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Frog locomotion has attracted wide scientific interest because of the unusual and derived morphology of the frog pelvic girdle and hind limb. Previous authors have suggested that the design of the frog locomotor system evolved towards a specialized jumping morphology early in the radiation of the group. However, data on locomotion in frogs are biased towards a few groups and most of the ecological and functional diversity remains unexplored. Here, we examine the kinematics of swimming in eight species of frog with different ecologies. We use cineradiography to quantify movements of skeletal elements from the entire appendicular skeleton. Our results show that species with different ecologies do differ in the kinematics of swimming, with the speed of limb extension and especially the kinematics of the midfoot being different. Our results moreover suggest that this is not a phylogenetic effect because species from different clades with similar ecologies converge on the same swimming kinematics. We conclude that it is important to analyze frog locomotion in a broader ecological and evolutionary context if one is to understand the evolutionary origins of this behavior.
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