• Locomotor kinematics of turtles moving in shallow water environments

      Hsieh, Tonia; Patterson, Susan L.; Spence, Andrew J.; Cleason, Kerin M. (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      Locomotion, moving around in our complex world is as crucial to many animals as finding food, shelter or a mate. The intricate interplay between the brain, nerves, muscles, tendons and bones allows for a variety of gaits. Animal movement has been studied in many environments like water, land or air, often focusing on one habitat alone. These studies were crucial in establishing the principles of animal locomotion, but don’t always reflect the intricate lifestyle of an animal. More often then not, animals will encounter different surface structures (such as grass, sand, soil, forest debris) or even interact between different habitats, such as at the water-land interface. Fewer studies have focused on understanding how movement changes when physical conditions vary. A turtle swimming in a dense, buoyancy-dominated water habitat transitioning to a walking on gravity-dominated terrestrial habitat is poorly understood and may open insight into new locomotor strategies. Turtles are an interesting study subject to study water-land transitions, as their spines are fused to their carapace, isolating any movement generation to their limbs only. In this thesis, I chose different size red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) turtles to investigate their locomotion during discreet water depth, as well as during shallow water locomotion and investigated whether bone shape can be predictive of the environment they live in.