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Cautionary comments on the measurement of maximum locomotor capabilities

Authors

  • Jonathan B. Losos,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, Campus Box 1137, Washington University, St Louis, MO 63130-4899, U.S.A.
      *All correspondence to: J. B. Losos. E-mail: losos@biology.wustl.edu
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  • Douglas A. Creer,

    1. Department of Biology, Campus Box 1137, Washington University, St Louis, MO 63130-4899, U.S.A.
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  • James A. Schulte II

    1. Department of Biology, Campus Box 1137, Washington University, St Louis, MO 63130-4899, U.S.A.
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    • **

      Division of Amphibians & Reptiles, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, U.S.A.


*All correspondence to: J. B. Losos. E-mail: losos@biology.wustl.edu

Abstract

In recent years, laboratory measurements of locomotor performance of small organisms have been used increasingly to study questions in behavioural, physiological, and evolutionary ecology. Although a valuable tool that can provide insight into organismal function, behaviour, and adaptation, this approach is potentially limited by the quality of the data collected. Using the study of maximum sprint speed in lizards as an example, common problems in methodology that may confound interpretation of performance studies are discussed.

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