Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Jump for your life: Bipedal rodents survive in the desert with a hop, a skip and a jump

Date:
July 5, 2013
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Researchers have found that bipedal desert rodents manage to compete with their quadrupedal counterparts by using a diverse set of jumps, hops and skips. A new study suggests that it is this unpredictable movement that allows the bipedal rodents to coexist in Old World deserts with quadrupedal rodents.

Bipedal jerboas move in highly unpredictable trajectories using a diverse set of jumps, hops and skips.
Credit: Talia Moore, Harvard University

Researchers have found that bipedal desert rodents manage to compete with their quadrupedal counterparts by using a diverse set of jumps, hops and skips. A new study, to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting in Valencia on July 6, suggests that it is this unpredictable movement that allows the bipedal rodents to coexist in Old World deserts with quadrupedal rodents.

Related Articles


Research headed by Talia Moore at Harvard University analysed, for the first time, jerboas' bipedal locomotion. She said: "Bipedal jerboas and quadrupedal jirds share the same habitat, predators, food source, and active hours. It appears that their different forms of locomotion create differing predator evasion abilities, allowing jerboas to forage further from their burrows, thus limiting interspecific competition. In this way these Old World desert rodents can occupy different niches."

The researchers found that bipedal desert rodents move with highly unpredictable trajectories, while sympatric quadrupedal desert rodents move in much more predictable trajectories.

This study involved using inverse dynamics to calculate the forces exerted by bipedal jerboas when jumping vertically, as well as the relative contributions of individual muscles and tendons to the jump.

The researchers collected trajectories of bipedal jerboas and sympatric quadrupedal jirds in the field to quantify the maximum performance and predictability of the escape behaviour of these species in natural conditions.

The Concord Field Station at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University is the only breeding colony of jerboas in the US, and has the only jerboa colony specifically for scientific research in the world.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Jump for your life: Bipedal rodents survive in the desert with a hop, a skip and a jump." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130705212217.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2013, July 5). Jump for your life: Bipedal rodents survive in the desert with a hop, a skip and a jump. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130705212217.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Jump for your life: Bipedal rodents survive in the desert with a hop, a skip and a jump." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130705212217.htm (accessed April 17, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 17, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Planet Defence Conference Tackles Asteroid Threat

Planet Defence Conference Tackles Asteroid Threat

AFP (Apr. 17, 2015) Scientists gathered at a European Space Agency (ESA) facility outside Rome this week for the Planetary Defence Conference 2015 to discuss how to tackle the potential threat from asteroids hitting Earth. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gulf Scarred, Resilient 5 Years After BP Spill

Gulf Scarred, Resilient 5 Years After BP Spill

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, splotches of oil still dot the seafloor and wads of tarry petroleum-smelling material hide in pockets in the marshes of Barataria Bay. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing's Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) Echo Ranger

Boeing's Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) Echo Ranger

Scuba Diving (Apr. 16, 2015) Seventy years after its service in World War II, NOAA, working with private industry partners, has confirmed the location and condition of the USS Independence. Resting upright in 2,600 feet of water off California’s Farallon Islands, the aircraft carrier’s hull and flight deck are clearly visible in sonar images, with what appears to be a plane in the carrier’s hangar bay. Video provided by Scuba Diving
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Drought Renews Thirst for Desalination Plants

California Drought Renews Thirst for Desalination Plants

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 16, 2015) As California&apos;s water crisis deepens, a one billion dollar desalination plant is set to go on-line near San Diego. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins