Kangaroos walk on their tail
SYDNEY, July 2 (Xinhua)-- Kangaroos use their tail as an extra leg when they walk, according to new Australian research revealed Wednesday.
The study found that the animals use their tail more than their forelimbs when they walk, the Australian Broadcast Association ( ABC) reported.
The findings provide new insights into kangaroo locomotion, and could also have applications in advanced robotics.
Professor Terry Dawson of the University of New South Wales and colleagues found that kangaroos walk by using the tail to lift both hind legs and the body's centre of gravity forward, while the forelimbs were used as struts and didn't provide any of the propulsion.
Tests showed there was far more propulsion energy provided by the tail than scientists had thought.
Dawson said the team is interested in mechanical analogues to walking and locomotion.
"There's interest in the robotic side of things and how other forms of locomotion can work," said Dawson.
"You can locomote just using your legs, but there are other options for stability and it's interesting from that point of view. "