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Nature. 2005 Mar 17;434(7031):292.

Biomechanics: independent evolution of running in vampire bats.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA. dkr8@cornell.edu

Abstract

Most tetrapods have retained terrestrial locomotion since it evolved in the Palaeozoic era, but bats have become so specialized for flight that they have almost lost the ability to manoeuvre on land at all. Vampire bats, which sneak up on their prey along the ground, are an important exception. Here we show that common vampire bats can also run by using a unique bounding gait, in which the forelimbs instead of the hindlimbs are recruited for force production as the wings are much more powerful than the legs. This ability to run seems to have evolved independently within the bat lineage.

PMID:
15772640
DOI:
10.1038/434292a
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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