Landing on branches in the frog Trachycephalus resinifictrix (Anura: Hylidae)

Bijma, N. N., Gorb, Stanislav and Kleinteich, T. (2016) Landing on branches in the frog Trachycephalus resinifictrix (Anura: Hylidae) Journal of Comparative Physiology a-Neuroethology Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology, 202 (4). pp. 267-276. DOI 10.1007/s00359-016-1069-0.

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Frogs (Lissamphibia: Anura) are famous for their saltatory or hopping locomotion, which is related to numerous anatomical specialisations that are characteristic for the group. However, while the biomechanics of take-off in frogs have been studied in detail, much less is known on how frogs land after a jump. Besides terrestrial and aquatic species, several lineages of frogs adopted an arboreal lifestyle and especially the biomechanics of landing on challenging, small, and unpredictable substrates, such as leaves or branches, are virtually unknown. Here we studied the landing kinematics of the arboreal frog Trachycephalus resinifictrix (Hylidae) on a wooden stick that was used to mimic a small tree branch. We observed two different landing behaviours: (1) landing on the abdomen and (2) attachment with the toes of either the forelimb or the hindlimb. In the latter case, the frogs performed a cartwheel around the stick, while they were only attached by their adhesive toe pads. We estimated the forces that act on the toes during this behaviour to be up to fourteen times the body weight of the animals. This behaviour demonstrates the remarkable adhesive capabilities of the toe pads and the body control of the frogs.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Times Cited: 3 Bijma, Nienke N. Gorb, Stanislav N. Kleinteich, Thomas
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
Kiel University
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00359-016-1069-0
ISSN: 0340-7594
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2017 09:26
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2017 09:26

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