We examined the diversity of the musculoskeletal morphology in the limbs of Anolis lizards with different habitats and identified variations in functional and morphological adaptations to different ecologies or behaviors. Dissection and isolation of 40 muscles from the fore- and hindlimbs of five species of Anolis were performed, and the muscle mass and length of the moment arm were compared after body size effects were removed. Ecologically and behaviorally characteristic morphological differences were observed in several muscles. Well-developed hindlimb extensors were observed in ground-dwelling species, A. sagrei and A. bremeri, and were considered advantageous for running, whereas adept climber species possessed expanded femoral retractors for weight-bearing during climbing. Moreover, morphological variations were observed among arboreal species. Wider excursions of the forelimb joint characterized A. porcatus, presumably enabling branch-to-branch locomotion, while A. equestris and A. angusticeps possessed highly developed adductor muscles for grasping thick branches or twigs. These findings suggest divergent evolution of musculoskeletal characteristic in the limbs within the genus Anolis, with correlations observed among morphological traits, locomotor performance, and habitat uses.
- appendicular musculature
- habitat use