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Animal AthletesAn Ecological and Evolutionary Approach$
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Duncan J. Irschick and Timothy E. Higham

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296545

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296545.001.0001

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(p.236) 12 Conclusion
Animal Athletes

Duncan J. Irschick

Timothy E. Higham

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes key messages presented in this book. First, one cannot and should not attempt to decouple animal performance from the ecological and evolutionary context in which it resides. Second, emerging portable technologies now enable humans to understand animal performance both in more natural circumstances and in more precise and less intrusive ways than were possible before. Another theme is the rise of evolutionary approaches for understanding both animal performance and the mechanisms that underlie it. In addition, a strong conclusion from this book is that one should not ignore the important contribution of mechanistic studies for understanding both the limits on performance and the mechanisms that generate those limits, particularly as constraints on performance are pervasive. The chapter concludes with an encouraging word for future work.

Keywords:   performance, mechanistic study, constraint, future work, evolutionary approach

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