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April 2014 - June 2014
- Master's Student
- Analysis of the jump in the tropical Xenopus (Xenopus tropicalis): Sexual dimorphism and relationships with other performance traits.
While running, small animals frequently encounter large terrain variations relative to their body size, therefore, terrain variations impose important functional demands on small animals. Nonetheless, we have previously observed in lizards that running specialists can maintain a surprisingly good running performance on very uneven terrains. The rel...
Both environmental temperatures and spatial heterogeneity can profoundly affect the biology of ectotherms. In lizards, thermoregulation may show high plasticity and may respond to environmental shifts. In the context of global climate change, lizards showing plastic thermoregulatory responses may be favored. In this study, we designed an experiment...
The vestibular system is crucial for movement control during locomotion. As the dimensions of the vestibular systemdetermine the fluid dynamics of the endolymph and, as such, the system’s function, we investigate the interaction between vestibular system size, head size and microhabitat use in lizards. We grouped 24 lacertid species in threemicroha...
Substrate variations are likely to constrain animal performance in natural environments, as running over complex terrains challenges the dynamic stability of the body differently in each step. Yet, being able to negotiate complex terrains at top speed is a strong advantage for animals that have to deal with predators and evasive prey. Little is kno...
Shape variation in the vestibular system is often linked to microhabitat structure and locomotor performance. Highly circular and orthogonal semicircular canal pairs are linked to higher motion sensitivity. Here, we use 3D geometric morphometrics to investigate shape variation in the vestibular system within lacertid lizards and its relationship to...
The vestibular system, located in the inner ear, plays a crucial role in balance and gaze stabilisation by sensing head movements. The interconnected tubes with membranous walls of the vestibular system are located in the skull bone (the ‘membranous labyrinth’). Unfortunately, these membranes are very hard to visualise using three‐dimensional (3D)...
A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML version of this paper. The error has not been fixed in the paper.
Foraging mode plays a pivotal role in traditional reconstructions of squamate evolution. Transitions between modes are said to spark concerted changes in the morphology, physiology, behaviour, and life history of lizards. With respect to their sensory systems, species that adopt a sit-and-wait strategy are thought to rely on visual cues primarily,...
Frogs are characterized by a morphology that has been suggested to be related to their unique jumping specialization. Yet, the functional demands associated with jumping and swimming may not be that different as suggested by studies with semi-aquatic frogs. Here, we explore whether features previously identified as indicative of good burst swimming...
I am combining morphological analyses of the vestibular system (balance organ of the inner ear), detailed kinematics and ecological aspects to investigate balance control.