We measured sprint performance of phrynosomatid lizards and select outgroups (n = 27 species). Maximal sprint running speeds were obtained with a new measurement technique, a high-speed treadmill (H.S.T.). Animals were measured at their approximate field-active body temperatures once on both of two consecutive days. Within species, individual variation in speed measurements was consistent between trial days and repeatabilities were similar to values reported previously for photocell-timed racetrack measurements. Multiple regression with phylogenetically independent contrasts indicates that interspecific variation in maximal speed is positively correlated with hindlimb span, but not significantly related to either body mass or body temperature. Among the three phrynosomatid subclades, sand lizards (Uma, Callisaurus, Cophosaurus, Holbrookia) have the highest sprint speeds and longest hindlimbs, horned lizards (Phrynosoma) exhibit the lowest speeds and shortest limbs, and the Sceloporus group (including Uta and Urosaurus) is intermediate in both speed and hindlimb span.
Copyright 1999 The Zoological Society of London.