The relationship between body shape, body size and locomotor mode in extant lepidosaurs.

Grinham, Luke R. and Norman, David B. (2020) The relationship between body shape, body size and locomotor mode in extant lepidosaurs. Journal of zoology. ISSN 0952-8369, 1469-7998 DOI

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Despite historic work, the mechanisms and evolutionary drivers associated with the adoption of a facultatively bipedal locomotor mode in extant lepidosaurs are unclear. Recent work has provided insights into the biomechanical triggers of bipedal locomotion, but the associated anatomies are yet to be fully understood, particularly with regard to body size across Lepidosauria. Using a dataset derived from museum specimens, representing a range of lepidosaur body shapes, we highlight the differences between obligate quadrupeds and facultative bipeds within this group and demonstrate the value of non-caudal skeletal material in identifying facultative bipeds using osteology alone. We use multiple statistical approaches to identify trends across locomotor modes relative to body size. Body size has a significant effect upon body proportions across the two locomotor modes, especially in the hindlimbs. Forelimbs lengths do not differ significantly across locomotor modes for animals of similar body size, but distal hindlimbs are significantly longer in facultative bipeds. Interestingly, femoral length does not differ across locomotor modes of a similar body size. Our findings contrast with historical tropes, and are significant for future work attempting to identify the factors driving the evolution of a facultatively bipedal locomotor mode in Lepidosauria.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2019AREP; IA76
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
08 - Green Open Access
12 - PhD
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of zoology
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2020 12:10
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2020 11:52

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