Dung beetle (c) Jochen Smolka
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Dung beetle has new galloping gait

Scientists have discovered that three species of dung beetle walk with a "galloping" gait not seen in any other insect.

The vast majority of insects species walk with what is known as an alternating tripod gait - steadily moving forward three legs at a time.

It is not clear why these flightless beetles have shifted so radically from the usual way of walking.

The findings are reported in the journal Current Biology.

Describing this strange gait in their paper, the researchers wrote: "Like a bounding hare, the beetles propel their body forward by synchronously stepping with both middle legs and then both front legs."

Here Dr Jochen Smolka from the University of Lund in Sweden, describes the findings.

  • 21 Oct 2013
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