Evolutionary Biology

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 308–326 | Cite as

Anuran Locomotion: Ontogeny and Morphological Variation of a Distinctive Set of Muscles

  • Marissa FabreziEmail author
  • Adriana S. Manzano
  • Virginia Abdala
  • Fernando Lobo
Research Article


Adult morphological variation of muscles originating on the iliac shaft (M. iliacus externus, M. internus, and tensor fasciae latae) and vertebrae (M. longissimus dorsi, M. coccygeosacralis, and M. coccygeoiliacus) that are involved in postmetamorphic anuran locomotion was recorded in 41 neobatrachians and coded in 13 more based on the literature, for a total of 54 anuran species. In addition, we explored the spatial and temporal sequences in the ontogeny of these set of muscles from larval series of 19 neobatrachians whose adults differ in locomotion and lifestyle. Our findings suggest that: (1) jumping, swimming, and/or walking are capabilities that could have been achieved from novelties of limbs and protractor muscles of the femur rather than from changes in the axial musculoskeletal system; (2) the initial ontogenetic phase of the locomotion comprises the capability to escape, when the tail is still present; (3) the secondary phase of locomotion comprises changes in the axial skeleton and muscles integrated to the pelvis and might develop simultaneously with the new feeding mechanism of the recently metamorphosed frog.


Jumping Metamorphosis Muscle iliacus Evolution Amphibians 



We are grateful to John Reiss for many suggestions on this English written. Jorgelina Brasca provided several corrections to the English style in the early version of the manuscript. Two anonymous reviewers contributed with many comments. Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable, Gobierno de la Provincia de Salta for permissions to collect the specimens deposited in the Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Salta. This research was supported by CONICET, PIP 239 to MF and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (PICT Bicentenario 0616).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marissa Fabrezi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adriana S. Manzano
    • 2
  • Virginia Abdala
    • 3
  • Fernando Lobo
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro Científico Tecnológico, Instituto de Bio y Geociencias, CONICETUniversidad Nacional de SaltaSaltaRepública Argentina
  2. 2.CONICETUniversidad Autónoma de Entre RíosDiamanteRepública Argentina
  3. 3.Instituto de Biodiversidad Neotropical CONICET – UNT and Biología General, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e Instituto Miguel LilloUniversidad Nacional de TucumánSan Miguel de TucumánRepública Argentina

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