How can geckoes walk on the ceiling and basilisk lizards run
over water? What are the aerodynamic effects that enable small
insects to fly? What are the relative merits of squids'
jet-propelled swimming and fishes' tail-powered swimming? Why do
horses change gait as they increase speed? What determines our own
vertical leap? Recent technical advances have greatly increased
researchers' ability to answer these questions with certainty and
This text provides an up-to-date overview of how animals run,
walk, jump, crawl, swim, soar, hover, and fly. Excluding only the
tiny creatures that use cilia, it covers all animals that power
their movements with muscle--from roundworms to whales, clams to
elephants, and gnats to albatrosses. The introduction sets out the
general rules governing all modes of animal locomotion and
considers the performance criteria--such as speed, endurance, and
economy--that have shaped their selection. It introduces energetics
and optimality as basic principles. The text then tackles each of
the major modes by which animals move on land, in water, and
through air. It explains the mechanisms involved and the physical
and biological forces shaping those mechanisms, paying particular
attention to energy costs.
Focusing on general principles but extensively discussing a wide
variety of individual cases, this is a superb synthesis of current
knowledge about animal locomotion. It will be enormously useful to
advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and a range of
professional biologists, physicists, and engineers.
Subjects: Biological Sciences
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