HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Speedy elephants use a biomechanical trick to 'run' like Groucho

relimbs touch the ground one at a time. If an animal's feet are on the ground less than half of the time, Hutchinson said, it meets the kinematic definition of running.

But elephants are weird because no matter how fast they go, their footfall pattern doesn't change. They use a walking footfall pattern even at 15 mph, the researchers found. That pattern has the left hind foot moving first, followed by a brief pause, after which the left front foot moves. Then there's a long pause, after which the same thing happens on the right side.

An all-aerial phase - where no feet are touching the ground - also kinematically differentiates running from walking. But elephants never have all their feet off the ground.

"Elephants probably don't run with an aerial phase because it would be too mechanically stressful on their bodies," said Hutchinson. It turns out that a lot of other animals - including running birds like chickens, emus and rheas - have limbs that release elastic strain energy like the rebound of a stretched rubber band without ever getting propelled so forcefully that all feet are off the ground at the same time.

That led biomechanists to redefine running more than 30 years ago to better describe the physical forces at work, Hutchinson said. "We're just beginning to understand which animals can break the rules and bounce without leaving the ground - and how they do it."

A deeper biomechanical mechanism may explain running better than the aerial phase frequently observed. All legged land animals, Hutchinson said," whether they have two legs, four legs, six legs or even in the case of a centipede, 42 legs," use the same mechanism to switch from a walk to a run. That switch often occurs at the same relative point, or Froude number, which is a dimensionless measurement that gives an animal's speed relative to its hip height. So even though a cockroach has shorter legs than an elephant, in terms of how many body lengths it can mo
'"/>

Contact: Dawn Levy
dawnlevy@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
2-Apr-2003


Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Related biology news :

1. Borneo elephants: A high priority for conservation
2. Dodging elephants, scorpions, mudslidesUF researcher tracks tigers
3. Cheap coffee is lousy for tigers, elephants, rhinos Science says
4. DNA evidence suggests 3 types of elephants roam Africa
5. For elephants, its not just their ears and trunk that make them unique on land
6. New program helps protect Asian elephants through crop-raiding prevention
7. Science study explores social memory in elephants
8. Counting elephants by monitoring sounds
9. Can an old gene learn new tricks?
10. Genome-wide screen reveals new tricks of old genes
11. Genetic trick adapted from viruses makes gene therapy vectors more versatile

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017 The global ... landscape is marked by the presence of several large ... held by five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC ... accounted for nearly 61% of the global military biometric ... in the global military biometrics market boast global presence, ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April 13, 2017 with the ... The ... section of the Company,s website at http://www.nxt-id.com  under "SEC Filings," ... 2016 Year Highlights: Acquisition of ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... India , April 13, 2017 According to ... Proofing, Identity Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, ... MarketsandMarkets™, the IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion ... Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression ... guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... today it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is ... , on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Tbilisi, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... disaster, taking the lives of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living ... the greenovative startup Treepex - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team ... its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is part of ... the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also expand its ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: