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Lacerta vivipara moving across an open space at their normal activity temperature alternate bursts of locomotion with short pauses which tend to occur at the extremes of the limb cycle, i.e. when individual limbs are maximally adducted or retracted and the spinal cord is maximally flexed in the lateral plane. The movement bursts and pauses in adult lizards have mean durations of 0–30 and 012 s, respectively, and within bursts the lizards move at a mean speed of 14–6 cm s-1. Movement in juvenile lizards is 2–5 times faster (relative to body length) and the pauses are of longer duration (mean = 019 s), giving the locomotion of juveniles a more jerky appearance. Lizards which are chasing crickets increase the speed and the duration of locomo-tory bursts, although the pauses persist. Lizards which are searching for a previously perceived cricket increase pause duration (mean = 0–40 s). Lizards which are fleeing from a sudden disturbance move at almost twice (juveniles) or 3–7 times (adults) the speed of foraging animals: the pauses persist, although at much reduced frequency. Increases in speed result from increases in both stride length (Λ) and stride frequency (n); the ratio Λ/n appears to remain constant at 006. The significance of these observations is discussed, although the functions of the pauses cannot yet be explained.