Five Legged Kangaroo Walk

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Five legged kangaroo walk reported in Science (AAAS) News 1 July 2014 and ABC News in Science 2 July 2014. Kangaroos are renowned for fast hopping on their two back legs. However, when they are moving about slowly as they graze they place their front legs and tail on the ground, like a tripod and swing their back legs forward. It has always been assumed the tail was simply a prop or strut to provide balance and hold the body in place.

Terry Dawson, of the University of New South Wales, and colleagues have measured the amount of force exerted by the tail and legs as they walk by getting kangaroos to walk along a path that had force detectors embedded in it. They found the tail could exert as much force as the back legs, and when the back legs were being lifted forward, it was the tail that provided the propulsion, with the front legs acting as struts. Max Donelan, a biomedical engineer at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada, who was also involved in the study, explained: “We found that when kangaroos are walking pentapedally—which they spend more time doing than hopping—they use their tail just like a leg”. (Pentapedally means to walk on five feet.)

These results fit with previous studies of the muscles of the legs and tail, which show that the muscles in the hind legs and tail have many mitochondria – intracellular power generators that enable muscles to efficiently burn fuel using oxygen. The forelimb muscles have far fewer mitochondria, making those muscles less energy efficient.

The researchers suggest that using tails for walking enabled Kangaroos to reduce the size and weight of front legs, which made hopping more efficient as they evolved.

ABC, Science

Editorial Comment: Another chicken-and-egg problem for evolutionists – what came first: tiny forelegs or walking tails? Either by itself is of no advantage to an already existing quadruped that can get around perfectly well on four legs.

Furthermore, since we have personally excavated fossil Kangaroos, including the giant ones, there is no evidence, fossil or living, that kangaroos were ever anything but kangaroos, in all their enormous variety from today’s giant reds down to tiny potoroos. Let’s be honest, it truly is more logical to believe the kangaroo body plan is the result of creative intelligent plan and purpose, designed by a Creator who knew how to best make an animal that hops and walks, and so gave it the appropriate limbs and tail, with the appropriate muscles. Goo to Roo by way of evolvazoo is and always will be nonsense. (Ref. macropods, marsupials, locomotion, gait)

Evidence News vol. 14 No.12
9 July 2014
Creation Research Australia

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