Assessment of the mass, length, center of mass, and principal moment of inertia of body segments in adult males of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) and green, or carolina, anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Pierre Legreneur, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Dominique G. Homberger, Louisiana State University
Vincent Bels, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


This study provides a morphometric data set of body segments that are biomechanically relevant for locomotion in two ecomorphs of adult male anoles, namely, the trunk-ground Anolis sagrei and the trunk-crown Anolis carolinensis. For each species, 10 segments were characterized, and for each segment, length, mass, location of the center of mass, and radius of gyration were measured or calculated, respectively. The radii of gyration were computed from the moments of inertia by using the double swing pendulum method. The trunk-ground A. sagrei has relatively longer and stockier hindlimbs and forelimbs with smaller body than A. carolinensis. These differences between the two ecomorphs demonstrated a clear relationship between morphology and performance, particularly in the context of predator avoidance behavior, such as running or jumping in A. sagrei and crypsis in A. carolinensis. Our results provide new perspectives on the mechanism of adaptive radiation as the limbs of the two species appear to scale via linear factors and, therefore, may also provide explanations for the mechanism of evolutionary changes of structures within an ecological context. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.