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Elephants run like Groucho Marx

A young elephant steps out at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park while cameras record the movement of the disc shaped markers on its legs and back. (Image Credit: John Hutchinson, The Royal Veterinary College)
A young elephant steps out at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park while cameras record the movement of the disc shaped markers on its legs and back. (Image Credit: John Hutchinson, The Royal Veterinary College)


2006-08-19 - LONDON, United Kingdom
It's not quite up there with uncovering the theory of everything, but answering whether elephants can run has huge potential for robotics. Researchers in Britain, after more than 100 years of debate and experiment, now say: "Yes, because they bounce like Groucho Marx." A creature used to be considered to be running if all its limbs were off the ground at the same time while moving forward. But so many exceptions were discovered that the definition had to be reassessed.



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