Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Locomotor-feeding coupling during prey capture in a lizard (Gerrhosaurus major): effects of prehension mode

Abstract : In tetrapods, feeding behaviour in general, and prey capture in particular, involves two anatomical systems: the feeding system and the locomotor system. Although the kinematics associated with the movements of each system have been investigated in detail independently, the actual integration between the two systems has received less attention. Recently, the independence of the movements of the jaw and locomotor systems was reported during tongue-based prey capture in an iguanian lizard (Anolis carolinensis), suggesting a decoupling between the two systems. Jaw prehension, on the other hand, can be expected to be dependent on the movements of the locomotor system to a greater degree. To test for the presence of functional coupling and integration between the jaw and locomotor systems, we used the cordyliform lizard Gerrhosaurus major as a model species because it uses both tongue and jaw prehension. Based on a 3-D kinematic analysis of the movements of the jaws, the head, the neck and the forelimbs during the approach and capture of prey, we demonstrate significant correlations between the movements of the trophic and the locomotor systems. However, this integration differs between prehension modes in the degree and the nature of the coupling. In contrast to our expectations and previous data for A. carolinensis, our data indicate a coupling between feeding and locomotor systems during tongue prehension. We suggest that the functional integration between the two systems while using the tongue may be a consequence of the relatively slow nature of tongue prehension in this species.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Lionel Reveret <>
Submitted on : Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 4:23:57 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 3:28:03 PM



Stephane Montuelle, Anthony Herrel, Paul-Antoine Libourel, Lionel Reveret, Vincent Bels. Locomotor-feeding coupling during prey capture in a lizard (Gerrhosaurus major): effects of prehension mode. Journal of Experimental Biology, Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp.768-777. ⟨10.1242/jeb.026617⟩. ⟨inria-00384225⟩



Record views