Movement‐based indices such as moves per minute (MPM) and proportion time moving (PTM) are common methodologies to quantify foraging behavior. Hundreds of studies have reported these indices, many without specifying the temporal resolution of their original data, and others using varying resolutions. This was done despite the likelihood that observation resolution can affect MPM and PTM estimates. Our goal was to empirically determine the sensitivity of these foraging indices to changes in the temporal resolution of the observation. We used a high-speed camera to record movement sequences of 20 Acanthodactylus boskianus lizards. Then, we gradually decreased the resolution of the data and calculated the foraging indices at different temporal resolutions. When considering the range of temporal resolutions that are relevant for field observations with unassisted vision, we found 68% and 48% difference in MPM and PTM estimates, respectively. When using the highest resolution, our estimate of MPM was an order of magnitude higher than all prior reported values for lizards. Our results raise major concerns regarding the use of already published movement-based indices, and enable us to recommend how new foraging data should be collected.
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