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Fig. S1. Tri-axial accelerometers record the movement of an object separately in three dimensions to represent movement in 3-dimensional space. Axis are usually aligned with those of the animal, so that x represents surging acceleration (posterior – anterior), y represents the heaving acceleration (dorso-ventral) and z-represents the swaying acceleration (lateral). These definitions are tied to the posture of the animal and may change according to behaviour (Yoda et al., 2001).

Fig. S2. Flow chart showing sources of variability of the ratio of conversion of chemical energy (ATP) and the mechanical work performed by the centre of mass (approximated by ODBA) as may be encountered during various activies of a single animal of a given species. There are three main steps from ATP to ODBA, variability in the efficiency in the production of work by a single muscle (Force-Velocity Relationship), the ratio of work performed by all the limbs in relation to that perceived in the centre of mass (mechanical efficiency, ratio of internal to external work) and the ratio of interial vs. de novo mechanical work. This variability is affected by a number of factors which are discussed in the text.

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