Current research

Progression and methodology

Development of a quantitative and qualitative gait analysis method in captive and wild Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis)


My current research is being conducted as part of my Masters with the University of Nottingham - School of Veterinary Science. I am hoping to 'define' movement in Komodo dragons/heavy-bodied lizards, and describe the common appearance of lameness. My hopes are that this will enable the development of a lameness scoring system for use by veterinary professionals and zoo keepers. I am very lucky to have advisors from not just UoN, but the Royal Veterinary College and University of Manchester. I would also like to thank the zoo professionals in numerous collections, who have offered so much of their time and support for this project, such as Dr Frances Baines, Lauren Lane, Shaun Foggett and Ben Sutcliffe.

Day one of research collection komodo dragon lameness (Matthew Shackleton Veterinary physiotherapist), studying lameness in heavy bodied lizards
Day three data collection (Komodo dragon lameness and gait), komodo trott (Matthew Shackleton Veterinary Physiotherapist)

​Figure 1 - Komodo dragon Foot placement lateral view - Padian & Olsen, 1984 & Dorsal view personal drawing M. Shackleton















Figure  SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 2 - Camera placement for data collection












Figure  SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 3 - Lateral view. Khaleesi at Paignton Zoo, responding to commands to target on the run.

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Upton, Chester, CH2 1HE

United Kingdom


Tel:  07534412517