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.


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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