Locomotor capacity and foraging behaviour of kalahari lacertid lizards

Raymond B. Huey, Albert F. Bennett, Henry John-Alder, Kenneth A. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Closely related lacertid lizards (Eremias, Nucras) in the Kalahari desert differ in patterns of foraging behaviour. Some species are relatively sedentary ('sit-and-wait') whereas others are more active ('widely-foraging') predators. We determined whether whole-animal locomotor capacities (cruising endurance on a treadmill, initial speed and maximum burst speed in a racetrack, and sprint endurance in a torus-shaped track) correlated with interspecific differences in foraging behaviour. Two of three widely-foraging species had greater cruising endurance, graater sprint endurance, but lower burst speed than did a sit-and-wait species. However, the two species that sprinted quickly also had limited endurance, and vice versa. Pre-feeding negatively influenced endurance but not sprint capacity. Theoretical models of foraging behaviour should recognize that ectotherms have limited endurance, that there can be a trade-off between speed and endurance, and that pre-feeding can reduce some aspects of locomotor capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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