How evolution overshot the optimum bone structure in jerboas
October 17, 2022
Foot bones that are separate in small hopping rodents are fused in their larger cousins, and a team of researchers at the University of Michigan and University of California, San Diego, wanted to know why.
It appears that once evolution set jerboa bones on the path toward fusing together, they overshot the optimum amount of fusing—the structure that best dissipated stresses from jumping and landing—to become fully bonded.
This finding could inform the design of future robotic legs capable of withstanding the higher forces associated with rapid bursts of agile locomotion.Continue reading ⇒