Pectoral and pelvic girdle rotations during walking and swimming in a semi-aquatic turtle: testing functional role and constraint

Title

Pectoral and pelvic girdle rotations during walking and swimming in a semi-aquatic turtle: testing functional role and constraint

Creator

Mayerl Christopher J; Capano John G; Moreno Adam A; Wyneken Jeanette; Blob Richard W; Brainerd Elizabeth L

Publisher

The Journal of Experimental Biology

Date

2019
2019-12-12

Description

Pectoral and pelvic girdle rotations play a substantial role in enhancing stride length across diverse tetrapod lineages. However, the pectoral and pelvic girdle attach the limbs to the body in different ways and may exhibit dissimilar functions, especially during locomotion in disparate environments. Here, we tested for functional differences between the forelimb and hindlimb of the freshwater turtle Pseudemys concinna during walking and swimming using X-ray reconstruction of moving morphology (XROMM). In doing so, we also tested the commonly held notion that the shell constrains girdle motion in turtles. We found that the pectoral girdle exhibited greater rotations than the pelvic girdle on land and in water. Additionally, pelvic girdle rotations were greater on land than in water, whereas pectoral girdle rotations were similar in the two environments. These results indicate that although the magnitude of pelvic girdle rotations depends primarily on whether the weight of the body must be supported against gravity, the magnitude of pectoral girdle rotations likely depends primarily on muscular activity associated with locomotion. Furthermore, the pectoral girdle of turtles rotated more than has been observed in other taxa with sprawling postures, showing an excursion similar to that of mammals (∼38 deg). These results suggest that a rigid axial skeleton and internally positioned pectoral girdle have not constrained turtle girdle function, but rather the lack of lateral undulations in turtles and mammals may contribute to a functional convergence whereby the girdle acts as an additional limb segment to increase stride length.

Subject

Biomechanics; Locomotion; Morphology; X-ray reconstruction of moving morphology

Identifier

PMID: 31767737

Format

Journal Article

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Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Issue

Pt 24

Volume

222

ISSN

1477-9145

NEOMED College

NEOMED College of Medicine

NEOMED Department

Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology; NEOMED Postdoc Publications

Update Year & Number

January 2020 Update

Citation

Mayerl Christopher J; Capano John G; Moreno Adam A; Wyneken Jeanette; Blob Richard W; Brainerd Elizabeth L, “Pectoral and pelvic girdle rotations during walking and swimming in a semi-aquatic turtle: testing functional role and constraint,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed June 23, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/10937.

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