HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Reconstructing the biology of extinct species: A new approach

An international research team has documented the link between the way an animal moves and the dimensions of an important part of its organ of balance, the three semicircular canals of the inner ear on each side of the skull. The team's article on its research will be published on 26 June in the print edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and in the journal's online early edition during the week of 18 to 22 June.

"We have shown that there is a fundamental adaptive mechanism linking a species' locomotion with the sensory systems that process information about its environment," says Alan Walker, Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology and Biology at Penn State University, one of the team's leaders. The researchers studied 91 separate primate species, including all taxonomic families. The study also included 119 additional species, most of which are mammals ranging in size from mouse to elephant, that habitually move in diverse ways in varied environments.

The project is the first large-scale study to document the relationship of the dimensions of the semicircular canals to locomotion. These structures are filled with a fluid, which moves within the canals when the animal moves. The fluid's movement is sensed by special cells that send signals to the brain, triggering the neck and eye muscles to reflexively keep the visual image stable.

The basic hypothesis of the project was that the organ of balance -- which helps stabilize an animal's gaze and coordinate its movements as it travels through the environment -- should be irrevocably linked to the type of locomotion produced by its limbs. "If an animal evolves a new way of moving about the world, its organ of balance must evolve accordingly," Walker explains. From the visual information, the animal tracks its position relative to stationary objects such as tree trunks, branches, rocks or cliffs, or the ground. Having a stable image of the environment
'"/>

Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
science@psu.edu
814-863-4682
Penn State
18-Jun-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. New textbook illuminates the close links between evolutionary and molecular biology
2. University of Leeds strengthens China links in membrane and neurobiology
3. Probing biologys dark matter
4. Fruit fly research may clean up conventional impressions of biology
5. Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
6. Scientists call for global push to advance research in synthetic biology
7. Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
8. NSF funding to advance research on interplay between biology and society
9. Executable biology -- Computer science sheds light on animal development
10. Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
11. Fly and worm models to teach researchers about human biology and medicine

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


(Date:11/20/2018)... ... November 20, 2018 , ... Like many large breed ... Before he was a year old, his mom, Rebecca, noticed he was slow ... examined by her veterinarian and her suspicions were confirmed: Jack had bilateral hip dysplasia, ...
(Date:11/15/2018)... ... November 15, 2018 , ... Firmex today released new research on ... over 480 investment bankers and M&A advisors worldwide to compile the third annual ... the key findings in the report. , Highlights in the 2018-19 Report:, ...
(Date:11/14/2018)... ... 14, 2018 , ... In recognition of World Diabetes Day, Diopsys is lending ... The company is reaching out to help educate patients and the healthcare community about ... vision testing for people with the disease. , The American Diabetes Association (ADA) released ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2018)... ... 26, 2018 , ... USARAD Holdings Inc., the leading US ... (Virtual Radiologic founders) among other healthcare investors exhibits at the Radiological Society of ... Chicago. The company is proud to announce a 10 year anniversary since its ...
(Date:11/15/2018)... ... November 14, 2018 , ... Hüpnos announces the ... the public. It is estimated that 90 million Americans suffer from ... partner. The resulting daytime fatigue causes extreme difficulty with concentration, focus and memory. ...
(Date:11/13/2018)... ... November 13, 2018 , ... , Park Systems, world leader in Atomic Force ... growing demand for AFM technology in China, Park Systems has decided to provide direct ... in Beijing equipped with Park AFM. , The Grand Opening of the Park Beijing ...
(Date:11/9/2018)... PHILADELPHIA (PRWEB) , ... November 08, 2018 , ... ... system integrator of custom industrial automation and IT solutions with 140 employees on ... at Automation Fair®, taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on November 14 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: