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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Evaluation Of The Functional Capabilities Of Fins And Limbs For Moving On Land: Insights Into The Invasion Of Land By Tetrapods, Sandy Kawano Aug 2014

Evaluation Of The Functional Capabilities Of Fins And Limbs For Moving On Land: Insights Into The Invasion Of Land By Tetrapods, Sandy Kawano

All Dissertations

Transitions to novel habitats present different adaptive challenges, producing captivating examples of how functional innovations of the musculoskeletal system influence phenotypic divergence and adaptive radiations. One intriguing example is the transition from aquatic fishes to tetrapods. Recent technological advances and discoveries of critical fossils have catapulted our understanding on how fishes gave rise to terrestrial vertebrates. Considerable attention has been paid to legged locomotion on land, but given that the first tetrapods were aquatic, limbs did not evolve primarily for terrestriality. How, then, is the locomotor function of limbs different from fins? Extant amphibious fishes demonstrate that fins can be ...


The Locomotor Kinematics Of Asian And African Elephants: Changes With Speed And Size, John R. Hutchinson, Delf Schwerda, Daniel J. Famini, Robert H.I. Dale, Martin S. Fischer, Rodger Kram Jun 2014

The Locomotor Kinematics Of Asian And African Elephants: Changes With Speed And Size, John R. Hutchinson, Delf Schwerda, Daniel J. Famini, Robert H.I. Dale, Martin S. Fischer, Rodger Kram

Robert H. I. Dale

For centuries, elephant locomotion has been a contentious and confusing challenge for locomotion scientists to understand, not only because of technical difficulties but also because elephant locomotion is in some ways atypical of more familiar quadrupedal gaits. We analyzed the locomotor kinematics of over 2400 strides from 14 African and 48 Asian elephant individuals (body mass 116-4632 kg) freely moving over ground at a 17-fold range of speeds, from slow walking at 0.40 m s-1 to the fastest reliably recorded speed for elephants, 6.8 m s-1. These data reveal that African and Asian elephants have some subtle differences ...