SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • high-speed images;
  • jumping height;
  • jumping performance;
  • kinematics analysis;
  • one-legged jump

Abstract

Autotomy is the ability to spontaneously self-amputate a limb or other appendage, often as a reflexive action. This limb amputation typically occurs as a specialized defensive response to an attack from a predator and thereby enables the prey to escape from predation. Despite the benefits of escape, autotomized organisms lose the body part and its associated function. Here, we investigated the jumping behavior and performance of one-leg-autotomized and intact rice grasshoppers, Oxya yezoensis, to examine changes in jumping behavior after autotomy. The take-off elevation of autotomized grasshoppers was 7.8° lower than in intact grasshoppers, resulting in nearly a 45° angle of take-off, which maximized the jumping distance. Kinematic analyses of the jumping manner revealed that the angle of the femur during jumping differed between intact and autotomized grasshoppers, suggesting that the grasshoppers behaviorally change the take-off elevation after autotomy. According to analyses of jumping performance, the degree of decline in performance differed between horizontal distance and vertical height. Even though they jumped on only one hind leg, one-leg-autotomized grasshoppers realized 69% performance along a horizontal distance relative to intact grasshoppers. In contrast, autotomized grasshoppers realized only a 44% performance in vertical height compared to intact grasshoppers. The difference in take-off elevation between autotomized and intact grasshoppers is likely related to the observed difference in the magnitude of the decline in performance between horizontal distance and vertical height. These results suggest that rice grasshoppers may alter their take-off elevation after limb autotomy to minimize the reduction in jumping distance.