Do morphological adaptations for gliding in frogs influence clinging and jumping?

McKnight, D. T., Nordine, J., Jerrett, B., Murray, M., Murray, P., Moss, R., Northey, M., Simard, N., Alford, R. A., and Schwarzkopf, L. (2020) Do morphological adaptations for gliding in frogs influence clinging and jumping? Journal of Zoology, 310 (1). pp. 55-63.

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Abstract

The ability to glide has evolved in multiple taxa and is usually associated with highly specialized morphological adaptations. Traits that evolve for one reason, can, however, influence other traits and abilities. In this study, we examined the influence of adaptations for gliding on the jumping and clinging abilities of frogs by comparing specialized flying frogs (Rhacophorus) and unspecialized non-flying frogs (Polypedates) from the family Rhacophoridae. Flying frogs had more webbing, longer legs, and greater clinging abilities than non-flying frogs. Clinging abilities, jumping distance, and gliding distance all correlated positively with body size for both flying and non-flying frogs. We did not, however, find any significant differences between the two groups in horizontal jumping distance or glide distance from a low starting point of 1.56 m. The morphological adaptations that evolved for gliding have not significantly influenced the flying frogs' short-distance jumping abilities, but may have influenced their clinging abilities. Alternatively, there may have been direct selection for clinging ability because of flying frogs' increased need, compared with other frogs, to land on vertical surfaces without slipping off.

Item ID: 62213
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-7998
Keywords: adhesion, borneo, evolution, jumping ability, morphological adaptations, Rhacophoridae, size
Copyright Information: © 2019 The Zoological Society of London.
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2020 07:32
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310403 Biological adaptation @ 100%
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