DOI: 10.1101/509398Jan 2, 2019Paper

Turning mechanics of the bipedal hopping Desert kangaroo rat (Dipodomys deserti).

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Clint Edward Collins, Craig P. McGowan


A fundamental aspect of animal ecology is the ability to avoid getting eaten. Catching prey and avoiding depredation involves a dynamic interplay between forward and lateral acceleration. Success at these tasks depends on achieving sufficient performance. In turn, performance is determined by biomechanics. After observing several kangaroo rats utilize turns under the duress of simulated predation in the field, we designed and conducted an experiment in the lab to measure turning mechanics of desert kangaroo rats. The average turning speed in our study was 1.2 ms-1. While field performances are rarely replicable in the lab, we found that kangaroo rats utilize braking impulses (~0.4 N), followed by lateral impulses, and orientated their body early in the turn to match trajectory change. to execute a turn. Coordinating turn in this ways likely prioritizes safety.

Related Concepts

Kangaroo Care
Research Study
Dipodomys deserti

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