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March 24, 2005

Vampire bats run, octopuses walk

This just in from Pharyngula:

Galloping_vampire_bat

"We knew they could hop and are very fast, but we weren't expecting this. Instead of walking fast, they ran," says Daniel Riskin of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who reports the results in this week's Nature.

Image expropriated from Pharyngula. See the video at News@Nature.

Cephalopod fans should also check out PZ's special feature on bipedal locomotion in not one but two species of octopus.

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Comments

I saw that earlier. The bats are particularly amazing. A friend of mine said it was like "mammals going back into the water." Does anyone know of other animals whose ground movement is primarily powered by front limbs?

I'm more of an octopus girl myself. They're finding out more and more about them and they're a real puzzle from an evolutionary point of view.

In the traditional view of evolution, octopuses (or octopi, as you prefer) shouldn't be intelligent, since they have quite short lifespans (about 6 to 8 years). And yet they are intelligent and able to learn. A nice puzzle.

Plus now I get to point out that the trolls at Washington Monthly are, in fact, less intelligent than at least one kind of mollusk, which is fun.

I *heart* bats, esp. the megachiropterae(the "flying fox" fruit bats - which, BTW and unlike the microchiropterae, are more closely related to primates than to rodents).

The nocturnal exhibit at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo houses a family of fruitbats, and I've watched them dash across the branches and netting when it's lunchtime. Those critters can *book*, all right!

Those Octopi just made my day. I think I can safely say, without hyperbole: that is the coolest thing ever!!!

I'm reminded of a book on Evolution called "After Man: A Zoology of the Future" by Dougal Dixon. It features a species of "Nightstalker" bats; meter-tall blind pack predators that run on their front legs and grab with the rear. Freaky!

You got my vote majikthise

You got my vote majikthise

Octopuses can not walk on land at all, and they'll never do it in future. D. Dixon was not right. Go to my site www.sivatherium.h12.ru and read in "English versions" my analysis of D. D.'s book "The future is wild".

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