Although lizards have been model organisms for testing locomotor performance and in ecomorphological studies, the limb movements of lizards during high-speed locomotion are poorly understood. Thus, we quantified the three-dimensional kinematics of the hindlimb, body and tail for five morphologically distinct species of lizard during steady-speed locomotion near maximum sprinting speed (2–5 m s-1). The kinematics of different species had little multivariate overlap. More than half of the strides of all species had digitigrade foot posture, but the frequency of using digitigrade foot posture varied among species. The combination of digitigrade foot posture and large foot size of the lizards contributed substantially to the high values of hip height. For each species, different suites of kinematic variables distinguished bipedal from quadrupedal strides. Interspecific morphological variation did not correspond globally to variation in kinematics, although lizard species with elongated hindlimbs took longer strides than species with shorter hindlimbs. The Froude numbers and relative stride lengths of all lizards running near maximal speeds were large compared with those reported previously for other vertebrates.

REFERENCES

REFERENCES
Bauwens
D.
,
Garland
T. J.
,
Castilla
A. M.
,
Van Damme
R.
(
1995
).
Evolution of sprint speed in lacertid lizards, morphological, physiological and behavioral covariation
.
Evolution
49
,
848
–.
Cavagna
G. A.
,
Heglund
N. C.
,
Taylor
R. C.
(
1977
).
Mechanical work in terrestrial locomotion: two basic mechanisms for minimizing energy expenditure
.
Am. J. Physiol
233
,
243
–.
Cheverud
J. M.
,
Dow
M. M.
,
Leutenegger
W.
(
1985
).
The quantitative assessment of phylogenetic constraints in comparative analyses: Sexual dimorphism in body weight among primates
.
Evolution
39
,
1335
–.
Coombs
W. P. J.
(
1978
).
Theoretical aspects of cursorial adaptations in dinosaurs
.
Q. Rev. Biol
53
,
393
–.
Cullum
A. J.
(
1997
).
Comparisons of physiological performance in sexual and asexual whiptail lizards (Genus Cnemidophorus): implications for the role of heterozygosity
.
Am. Nat
150
,
24
–.
Djawdan
M.
,
Garland
T. J.
(
1988
).
Maximal running speeds of bipedal and quadrupedal rodents
.
J. Mammal
69
,
765
–.
Farley
C. T.
,
Glasheen
J.
,
McMahon
T. A.
(
1993
).
Running spring: speed and animal size
.
J. Exp. Biol
185
,
71
–.
Farley
C. T.
,
Ko
T. C.
(
1997
).
Mechanics of locomotion in lizards
.
J. Exp. Biol
200
,
2177
–.
Felsenstein
J.
(
1985
).
Phylogenies and the comparative method
.
Am. Nat
125
,
1
–.
Fieler
C. L.
,
Jayne
B. C.
(
1998
).
Effects of speed on the hindlimb kinematics of the lizard Dipsosaurusdorsalis
.
J. Exp. Biol
201
,
609
–.
Garland
T.
Jr.
,
Harvey
P. H.
,
Ives
A. R.
(
1992
).
Procedures for the analysis of comparative data using phylogenetically independent contrasts
.
System. Biol
41
,
18
–.
Glasheen
J. W.
,
McMahon
T. A.
(
1996
).
Size-dependence of water-running ability in basilisk lizards (Basiliscusbasiliscus)
.
J. Exp. Biol
199
,
2611
–.
Irschick
D. J.
,
Jayne
B. C.
(
1998
).
Effects of incline on speed, acceleration, body posture and hindlimb kinematics in two species of lizard, Callisaurus draconoides and Uma scoparia
.
J. Exp. Biol
201
,
273
–.
Jayne
B. C.
,
Ellis
R. V.
(
1998
).
How inclines affect the escape behaviour of a dune dwelling lizard, Umascoparia
.
Anim. Behav
55
,
1115
–.
Jayne
B. C.
,
Irschick
D. J.
(
1999
).
Effects of incline and speed on the three-dimensional hindlimb kinematics of a generalized iguanian lizard (Dipsosaurusdorsalis)
.
J. Exp. Biol
202
,
143
–.
Losos
J. B.
(
1990
).
The evolution of form and function: morphology and locomotor performance in West Indian Anolis lizards.
Evolution
44
,
1189
1203
.
Macrini
T. E.
,
Irschick
D. J.
(
1998
).
An intraspecific analysis of trade-offs in sprinting performance in a West Indian Lizard (Anolis lineatopus)
.
Biol. J. Linn. Soc
63
,
579
591
.
Marsh
R. L.
(
1988
).
Ontogenesis of contractile properties of skeletal muscle and sprint performance in the lizard Dipsosaurus dorsalis
.
J. Exp. Biol
137
,
119
–.
Martins
E. P.
,
Garland
T. J.
(
1991
).
Phylogenetic analyses of the correlated evolution of continuous characters: a simulation study
.
Evolution
45
,
534
–.
McMahon
T. A.
,
Cheng
G. C.
(
1990
).
The mechanics of running: how does stifness couple with speed?
.
J. Biomech
23
,
1
–.
McMahon
T. A.
,
Valiant
G.
,
Frederick
E. C.
(
1987
).
Groucho running
.
J. Appl. Physiol
62
,
2326
–.
Reilly
S. M.
,
Delancey
M. J.
(
1997
).
Sprawling locomotion in the lizard Sceloporusclarkii: quantitative kinematics of a walking trot
.
J. Exp. Biol
200
,
753
–.
Sinervo
B.
(
1990
).
The evolution of maternal investment in lizards: An experimental and comparative analysis of egg size and its effects on offspring performance
.
Evolution
44
,
279
–.
Snyder
R. C.
(
1949
).
Bipedal locomotion of the lizard Basiliscus basiliscus
.
Copeia
1949
,
129
–.
Snyder
R. C.
(
1952
).
Quadrupedal and bipedal locomotion of lizards
.
Copeia
1952
,
64
–.
Snyder
R. C.
(
1962
).
Adaptations for bipedal locomotion of lizards
.
Am. Zool
2
,
191
–.
Urban
E. K.
(
1965
).
Quantitative study of locomotion in teiid lizards
.
Anim. Behav
13
,
513
–.
Van Damme
R.
,
Aerts
P.
,
Vanhooydonk
B.
(
1997
).
No trade-off between sprinting and climbing in two populations of the lizard Podarcishispanica (Reptilia: Lacertidae)
.
Biol. J. Linn. Soc
60
,
493
–.
This content is only available via PDF.