Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Tail loss reduces locomotor ability but not metabolic rate in a viviparous skink, Sphenomorphus indicus

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Animal Biology

Tail autotomy is an efficient predator escape form, but imposes locomotor costs in many lizard species. It has been hypothesized that locomotor impairment following tail autotomy results from the altered running dynamics or loss of energy available for locomotion, but there is a paucity of data available to demonstrate such effects. We evaluated the locomotor costs of tail loss in a viviparous skink, Sphenomorphus indicus, and examined whether locomotor costs were related to changes in gait characteristics and metabolic rate. Of 24 field-captured adult males with original intact tails, 12 individuals were used as experimental animals, and the remaining 12 as controls. Locomotor performance and CO2 production were measured for the experimental skinks before and after tail removal; the same parameters were measured at the same time for the control skinks. Compared with tailed skinks, the mean locomotor speed and stamina of tailless skinks was reduced by approximately 26% and 17%, respectively. At any given speed, tailless skinks had a shorter stride length for hindlimbs (but not for forelimbs) and a greater stride frequency than did tailed skinks. In S. indicus, locomotor impairment may be a result of the reduced stride length, and energetic constraints on stride frequency. We found no significant change in standard metabolic rate after the skinks underwent tail removal, which may reflect a minor effect on energy expenditure for maintenance. Although the reduction in metabolically active tissue might cause a lower metabolic rate, tail regeneration counteracted such an effect because it was energetically expensive.

Affiliations: 1: 1Hangzhou Key Laboratory for Animal Sciences and Technology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310036, China; 2: 2Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210046, China; 3: 3Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservational Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Animal Biology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation