The slow have eight short legs.
Pomalki (tardigrades) exotic animals. You can dry them completely if a drop of water wakes them up again. They are also tolerant of high temperatures and radiation and can roam all around.
It’s really weird in their microscopic world. Soft animals half a millimeter long usually do not need to walk without a doubt. However, Tardigrads, also nicknamed water bears, drink gleefully on their eight short legs.
Scientists write that their gait is 500,000 times more reminiscent of those of larger animals PNAS . Magazine. This discovery may reveal a hidden evolutionary relationship.
Scientists have left the slower species hypsibius dujardini to reach under it lens Under the microscope, they did what they wanted.
“Sometimes they were totally relaxed and just wanted to walk on the pedestal. Other times they saw something they liked and ran after it.” Explains in a press release from Rockefeller University biologička Jasmine Nerudiova.
While walking leisurely, the half-millimeter animals would pass about half their body length per second. In “Running” they went for the same segment of twice their height.
Their stride was very similar to insects such as wine flies or ants. This similarity is especially interesting because slow people are from a completely different breed of animal.
Start, click. Walking microscopically slowly is like an insect half a million times larger. (Source: Lysette Duran)
Useful strategy, but not on the glass
The similarity of gait may indicate that penguins and insects may have common ancestors and even neural networks. It can belong to the animal branch of the panarthropoda, which is not currently officially recognized.
These animals have similar characteristics – they have legs and claws, a staircase of the nervous system and a body divided into cells / parts.
If there was an ancient nervous system controlling the gait of the panarithropod branch, we still have a lot to learn.
The second explanation is that the observed type of gait evolved by slow motion and insects because it is so evolutionarily beneficial.
“If there was an ancient nervous system controlling walking at the branch of the Pananthropopod, we still have a lot to learn,” says Nerudi.
“On the other hand, if arthropods and tardigrades worked on the same strategy independently, it would tell us a lot about why they are so useful in different environments.”
However, the slow weather was not comfortable everywhere. They did not move away from the smooth surface of the glass.
Start, click. The Tardigrads never shied away from the glass. (Source: Nerudi et al., PNAS, 2021)
In the micrograph, you can see the claws on the sluggish legs. (Source: Nerudi et al., PNAS, 2021)
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