Navigation Links
Primitive frogs do a belly flop
Date:7/21/2010

Sometimes divers, to their own painful dismay, do belly flops. But did you ever see a frog belly flop? That's just what primitive living frogs do, according to a new study1 by Dr. Richard Essner, from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the US, and colleagues, looking at the evolution of frog jumping and landing. They found that frogs became proficient at jumping before they perfected landing. This evolutionary split, characterized by an inability to rapidly rotate the limbs forward during flight in order to land front legs first, might also explain why primitive frogs' back legs are out-of-phase with one another when they swim. Essner's work is published in Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften.

Prior to this research, it had generally been assumed that all frogs jumped in a similar manner by rapidly extending their back legs during the propulsive phase and rotating the limbs forward during flight so that they could land front legs first. However, no studies had looked at the jumping behavior of the most primitive living frogs of the family Leiopelmatidae, which uniquely among frogs use a trot-like rather than a frog-kick swimming gait.

Essner and team compared the jumping behavior of leiopelmatids with that of more advanced frogs. They analyzed video footage from 5 species 3 primitive (Ascaphus montanus, Leiopelma pakeka, and L. hochstetteri) and 2 advanced (Bombina orientalis and Lithobates pipiens).

They found that although launch movements were similar among the species, primitive frogs maintained extended back legs throughout their flight and landing phases and did not land on their front legs. These belly flop landings limited their ability to jump again quickly.

According to Essner, this unique behavior of leiopelmatids shows that the evolution of jumping in frogs was a two-step process with symmetrical back leg extension jumping appearing first and mid-flight back leg recovery and landing on forelimbs appearing later. The frogs' inability to rapidly cycle the limbs may also provide a functional explanation for the absence of synchronous swimming in leiopelmatids. It is also plausible that the reason these primitive frogs have unusual anatomical features such as large, shield-shaped pelvic cartilage and abdominal ribs is to prevent damage to their internal soft tissues and organs during uncontrolled landing.

The authors conclude: "The simple shift to early hind limb recovery may have been a key feature in the evolutionary history of frogs, facilitating controlled terrestrial landings and enabling rapid repetition of jumping and swimming cycles. These changes may have offered advantages for longer distance locomotion, better landing postures and improved predator avoidance and foraging."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Cancer: Primitive gene discovered
2. Prehistoric frogs face extinction
3. Counting frogs: Why monitoring our amphibian populations is important
4. Frogs, foam and fuel: University of Cincinnati researchers convert solar energy to sugars
5. Pesticide atrazine can turn male frogs into females
6. McDonalization of frogs
7. Disease threat may change how frogs mate
8. UCLA scientists discover ultrasonic communication among frogs
9. Frogs reveal clues about the effects of alcohol during development
10. Stanford researchers: Global warming is killing frogs and salamanders in Yellowstone Park
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/12/2016)... DALLAS , May 12, 2016 ... has just published the overview results from the Q1 ... of the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a ... wearables data with a health insurance company. ... choose to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric ... Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system ... ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions with ... fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages the ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , ... the first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was ... 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings ... flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the ... the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s ... how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational ... lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells ... this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to ... medical community, has closed its Series A funding round, ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis ... need to meet our current goals," stated Matthew ... runway to complete validation on the current projects in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, ... down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower ... 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following ... Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: