Principles of Animal Locomotion

Principles of Animal Locomotion

by R. McNeill Alexander
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691086788

ISBN-13: 9780691086781

Pub. Date: 11/25/2002

Publisher: Princeton University Press

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…  See more details below

Overview

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 in detail.

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.

Author Biography: R. McNeill Alexander is Emeritus Professor of Zoology at the University of Leeds and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Optima for Animals (Princeton), as well as the award-winning CD-ROM How Animals Move.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691086781
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/25/2002
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1The Best Way to Travel1
Ch. 2Muscle, the Motor15
Ch. 3Energy Requirements for Locomotion38
Ch. 4Consequences of Size Differences53
Ch. 5Methods for the Study of Locomotion68
Ch. 6Alternative Techniques for Locomotion on Land86
Ch. 7Walking, Running, and Hopping103
Ch. 8Climbing and Jumping146
Ch. 9Crawling and Burrowing166
Ch. 10Gliding and Soaring181
Ch. 11Hovering209
Ch. 12Powered Forward Flight224
Ch. 13Moving on the Surface of Water240
Ch. 14Swimming with Oars and Hydrofoils249
Ch. 15Swimming by Undulation266
Ch. 16Swimming by Jet Propulsion288
Ch. 17Buoyancy301
Ch. 18Aids to Human Locomotion316
Ch. 19Epilogue327
References333
Index367

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