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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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Trade-offs and constraints on performance

Trade-offs and constraints on performance

(p.143) 7 Trade-offs and constraints on performance
Animal Athletes

Duncan J. Irschick

Timothy E. Higham

Oxford University Press

It is next to impossible for an animal to optimize all its performance capacities while not sacrificing the ability to do well at a particular task. Instead, elevated performance in one area often compromises performance in another. This pattern has been repeatedly observed and is evident across vertebrates and invertebrates, with some exceptions. These trade-offs often reflect underlying mechanical constraints on organismal performance, such as the trade-off between force and velocity, and have occurred in multiple systems ranging from suction feeding in fish to striking in snakes. This chapter discusses the factors that lead to trade-offs and highlights some of the predominant constraints on organismal performance.

Keywords:   velocity, trade-off, mechanical, force, constraint

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