Why Evolution Is True

Well, HuffPo Science sometimes has something interesting: in this case it’s an announcement of the first instance of a radially symmetrical animal “walking” on two legs.  This creature is the brittle star Ophiocoma echinata, and the report is from a paper by Henry Astley in the Journal of Experimental Biology (citation and link below); Astley also made this video of the remarkable behavior.  Remember, this animal doesn’t have a real brain, but a diffuse nervous system.

Astley’s paper also shows something else remarkable: when the starfish wants to change direction, it doesn’t really turn its body, but simply designates another pair of limbs as the “walking limbs” and head off in that direction.

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Astley, H.  2012.   Getting around when you’re round: quantitative analysis of locomotion in the blunt-spined brittle star, Ophiocoma echinata. J. Exp. Biol.  215:915-923

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