
Locomotor patterns and costs as related to body size and
form in teiid lizards
T. D. WHITE
Department of Biology, SUNY College of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14222, USA
AND R. A. ANDERSON
SREL, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29801, USA
Stride parameters and gaits were examined in seven species of teiid lizards in an
attempt to understand sizedependent variation of locomotor patterns. Scaling of
body dimensions to body mass revealed that axial measures conformed to
geometric similarity, whereas the limb segments exhibited an allometry which
was statistically significantly less than geometric similarity. Variations in the
relationships between stride lengths, stride frequencies and duty factors (% of
the stride that foot contacts ground) represented locomotor specializations and
were not strictly sizedependent among species. At body length equivalent
velocities, stride length and stride frequency scaled to body mass^{0·40±0·06 and
0·09±0·03}, respectively. Cost during locomotion at body length equivalent
velocities could be estimated by the square of the product of stride length and
stride frequency. Plotting the cost during locomotion for geometrically similar
lizards against body mass yielded an estimate of the cost during locomotion
that was proportional to mass^{0·62±0·11}. An estimate of the massspecific cost
during locomotion at body lengthequivalent velocities scales to mass^{0·38±0·11}.
Because the limbs of these lizards exhibit an allometry less than geometric
similarity, a correction of the estimate of the massspecific cost during
locomotion could be obtained by factoring in the effect of increased locomotor
costs associated with relatively shorter pelvic limbs in larger lizards. The
allometrically corrected estimate of the massspecific cost during locomotion
was proportional to mass^{0·31}. This estimated regression, which is the relative
cost of transport for a single, morphologically conservative family of lizards,
predicts a slope quite close to that derived from studies of oxygen requirements
during locomotion in lizards of several families (slope=O.28, JohnAider,
Garland & Bennett,1986) and in mammals (slope= 0·32, Taylor, Heglund &
Maloiy, 1982).
SREL Reprint #1855
White, T.D. and R.A. Anderson. 1994. Locomotor patterns and costs as
related to body size and form in teiid lizards. Journal of Zoology 233:107128.
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