World’s Strangest

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Brittle Star Walks Like a Man

Whodathunk
that brittle star walks like a man. After all, unlike the bilaterally
symmetrical humans, the sea creature is round and has five limbs:

In a series of first-time experiments, Brown University evolutionary
biologist Henry Astley discovered that brittle stars, despite having
no brain, move in a very coordinated fashion, choosing a central arm
to chart direction and then designating other limbs to propel it along.
Yet when the brittle star wants to change direction, it designates a
new front, meaning that it chooses a new center arm and two other limbs
to move. Brittle stars have come up with a mechanism to choose any of
its five limbs to be central control, each capable of determining direction
or pitching in to help it move.

Not bad for a creature without a brain. Wait, come to think of it, that’s
something it has in common with some people I know! Link

Post Metadata

Date
May 14th, 2012

Author
Stranger to the World

Category



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