Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

ecology & evolution of biomechanics of gliding in mammalian taxa

Expand Messages
  • Stephan Pickering
    Greg Byrnes & A.J. Spence, 2011. Ecological and biomechanical insights into the evolution of gliding in mammals. Integrative & Comparative Biology IN PRESS +
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30 10:37 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      Greg Byrnes & A.J. Spence, 2011. Ecological and biomechanical insights into the evolution of gliding in mammals. Integrative & Comparative Biology IN PRESS + Supplementary Data. ABSTRACT. Gliding has evolved independently at least six times in mammals. Multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of gliding. These include the evasion of predators, economical locomotion or foraging, control of landing forces, and habitat structure. Here we use a combination of comparative methods, and ecological and biomechanical data collected from free-ranging animals, to evaluate these hypotheses. Our comparative data suggest that the origins of gliding are often associated with shifts to low-quality diets, including leaves and plant exudates. Further, data from free-ranging colugos suggest that although gliding is not more energetically economical than moving through the canopy, it is much faster, allowing shorter times of transit between foraging patches, and therefore more time available to forage in a given patch. In addition to moving quickly, gliding mammals spend only a small fraction of their overall time engaged in locomotion, likely offsetting its high cost. Kinetic data for both take-off and landing suggest that selection on these behaviors could also have shaped the evolution of gliding. Glides are initiated by high-velocity leaps that are potentially effective in evading arboreal predators. Further, upon landing, the ability to control aerodynamic forces, and reduce velocity prior to impact, is likely key to extending distances of leaps or glides while reducing the likelihood of injury. It is unlikely that any one of these hypotheses exclusively explains the evolution of gliding, but by examining gliding in multiple groups of extant animals in ecological and biomechanical contexts, new insights into the evolution of gliding can be gained.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      STEPHAN PICKERING / Chofetz Chayim ben-Avraham
      Temple Illuminatus Goddess Jew  / Starfleet Yeshiva Epikoros Spiritist
       
       
      THE DINOSAUR FRACTALS PROJECT
      2333 Portola Drive # 4
      Santa Cruz, California 95062-4250
       
       
      IN PROGRESS: Mutanda Dinosaurologica: in memory of Samuel Paul Welles (9 November 1909--6 August 1997)
      IN PROGRESS: Dialects of a synaesthetic heart: poetics for Faline Pickering (23 January 1949--24 August 2008)
      IN PROGRESS: Alfred Russel Wallace's KING KONG: the semioptics of Willis O'Brien
       
      PARTNER IN THE UNIVERSE TO: FALINE PICKERING, MY BELOVED QUANTUM AQUARIUS
      MEMBER 13853: Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
       
      One concept corrupts and confuses the others. I am not speaking of the Evil whose limited sphere is ethics; I am speaking of the infinite. ...Reality is not always probable, or likely. -- JORGE LUIS BORGES
      You never know what's comin' for you. -- QUEENIE in ERIC ROTH'S  The curious case of Benjamin Button
      What if G-d didn't say it? -- 
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.