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On Bipedalism in Skates and Rays
R. J. Holst and Q. Bone
Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences
Vol. 339, No. 1287 (Jan. 29, 1993), pp. 105-108
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/55736
Page Count: 4
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The anterior crurae of the pelvic fins in rajids are limb-like; this paper shows that these rays use the crurae for bipedal locomotion on the bottom at speeds around one-third of a disc length per second. It is suggested that this `walking' pattern is employed to feed on prey within the substrate; sting rays (which feed in a different manner) do not possess such crurae. `Walking' on a mud substrate leaves a characteristic track pattern as the crural tips dig in to propel the ray forwards; such tracks should be recognizeable in the fossil record.
Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences © 1993 Royal Society