Performance and kinematics of saltation in the limbless lizard Ophisaurus attenuatus (Squamata: Anguidae)

Emma D. Wass, Gary W. Gerald
2017 Phyllomedusa: Journal of Herpetology  
Saltation has been observed in several species of snakes and limbless lizards, and is most often used as an escape tactic during encounters with predators. However, studies examining kinematics and performance in limbless lizards are scarce and limited to observations of single individuals. We analysed 34 jump sequences from eight individual Ophisaurus attenuatus that exhibited escape saltation following minimal handling. We found that jumping is kinematically different from that described in
more » ... that described in snakes and similar to one other limbless lizard. Eight jumps resulted in the body completely leaving the ground. These jumps were characterized by larger displacement distances but were similar in speed compared to other jumps. Body mass was positively related to jump speed, but not with jump distances. This study suggests that increases in force production capabilities with increasing mass and the hindering effects of gravity interact to determine saltation performance in limbless lizards
doi:10.11606/issn.2316-9079.v16i1p81-87 fatcat:4gqjnroz6rek5kje3z67sjhivy