Kangaroos are famous as good hoppers, though they don’t do so badly when they’re on all fours, either. That’s since they use their tail as a absolute “fifth leg” when walking, researchers news in a investigate published in a Royal Society biography Biology Letters. The group videotaped a locomotion patterns of 5 red kangaroos in a lab in Sydney, Australia. “We totalled a army a tail exerts on a belligerent and distributed a automatic energy it generates, and found that a tail is obliged for some-more propulsive force than a front and rear legs combined,” pronounced investigate personality Maxwell Donelan of Simon Fraser University.
When extending on grasses, a marsupials pierce both rear feet brazen “paired limb” character while regulating their tails and front limbs together to support their bodies. “They seem to be stiff and stiff walkers when one watches them moseying around in their mobs looking for something to eat,” pronounced University of Colorado Boulder Associate Professor Rodger Kram, a investigate co-author. “But it turns out it is not unequivocally that awkward, only weird.”
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- Unique Among Animals, Kangaroos Use Tail as Fifth Leg (National Geographic)
— James Eng, NBC News