Apr 15, 1997

Evolution of forelimb movement patterns for prey manipulation in anurans

The Journal of Experimental Zoology
L A GrayK C Nishikawa


Unlike other amphibians, frogs often use their forelimbs to capture and transport prey. In the present study, high-speed videography was used to observe forelimb use during feeding in a diverse group of anurans in order to determine the evolution of forelimb movement patterns among anuran taxa. Data were gathered from 488 individuals representing 104 species, 55 genera, and 16 families. Five distinct behavior patterns were identified: scooping entails using the back of the hand to push prey into the mouth; wiping involves the use of the palm of the hand to push prey, protruding laterally from the mouth, toward the midline; during prey stretching, one end of the prey is held in a stationary position by the hands while the other end is pulled upward by the jaws; in grasping, the palms face the midline or the substrate as the fingers are wrapped around the prey; grasping with wrist rotation is similar to grasping, but the wrists rotate inward as the hands grasp the prey so that the palms face the mouth. The distribution of these behavior patterns was mapped onto the most recent phylogenetic hypothesis for anurans. Maximum parsimony analyses suggest that scooping and wiping are primitive and have been retained by many frog lineages...Continue Reading

  • References2
  • Citations17


  • References2
  • Citations17


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