The role of tendon elasticity in hopping in a wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus)



The elastic properties of the major tendons of wallaby feet have been investigated in dynamic tensile tests at a frequency close to normal hopping frequencies. In addition, bending tests have been performed on the intertarsal and tarso-metatarsal joints. The data are used to calculate the strain energy stored temporarily in the tendons and ligaments of the legs during a typical hopping stride. The contribution made by stored strain energy to the work required for hopping is assessed.