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Locomotor preferences in terrestrial vertebrates: An online crowdsourcing approach to data collection

Lees, J, Gardiner, JD, Usherwood, J and Nudds, R 2016, 'Locomotor preferences in terrestrial vertebrates: An online crowdsourcing approach to data collection' , Scientific reports, 6 (28825) .

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Understanding how animals move within their environment is a burgeoning field of research. Despite this, relatively basic data, such as the locomotor speeds that animals choose to walk at in the wild, are sparse. If animals choose to walk with dynamic similarity, they will move at equal dimensionless speeds, represented by Froude number (Fr). Fr may be interpreted from simple limb kinematics obtained from video data. Here, using Internet videos, limb kinematics were measured in 112 bird and mammal species weighing between 0.61 and 5400 kg. This novel method of data collection enabled the determination of kinematics for animals walking at their self-selected speeds without the need for exhaustive fieldwork. At larger sizes, both birds and mammals prefer to walk at slower relative speeds and relative stride frequencies, as preferred Fr decreased in larger species, indicating that Fr may not be a good predictor of preferred locomotor speeds. This may result from the observation that the minimum cost of transport is approached at lower Fr in larger species. Birds walk with higher duty factors, lower stride frequencies and longer stance times compared to mammals at self-selected speeds. The trend towards lower preferred Fr is also apparent in extinct vertebrate species.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Journal or Publication Title: Scientific reports
Publisher: Springer Nature
Related URLs:
Funders: The Leverhulme Trust, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Depositing User: JD Gardiner
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2016 08:04
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2016 08:04

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