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.

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 September 20, 2014 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 September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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