Research from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, Parrots use their heads as a third propulsive limb. No vertebrate (fish, mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian) has ever had an odd number of limbs. Despite this “forbidden phenotype”, some animals seem to use other body parts as a third or fifth “limb” to get from one place to another.
For example, Although parrots cannot use their wings to grasp, they climb by extending their heads and grasping branches or other surfaces with their beaks.. However, it is unclear whether the head acts as a “third limb” that moves the bird, or whether the beak is used for self-balancing by hanging onto surfaces for support. Also, although many studies highlight the incredible intelligence of parrots, research on their locomotor behavior is almost non-existent.
Study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society Banalyzed the climbing steps of pink-faced parakeets (Agapornis roseicollis), a kind of small parrot. Researchers designed a series of experiments where parrots climb a man-made vertical path set at angles ranging from zero to 90 degrees. While two high-speed cameras recorded the movement, a small force plate mounted on the back of the track measured the force created by the beak, hind legs and tail as each body part came into contact with the track.
The parrots’ beaks first touched the runway when climbing at a 45-degree angle, and when climbing at a 90-degree angle, they produced forces comparable to those produced by their hind legs. Actually, the forces produced by parrot beaks were equal to or greater than the forces known to be produced by human limbs. or other large primates while climbing. In contrast, the birds’ tails produced minimal force, suggesting that the tail was used only for support and not as an additional limb.
Student Melody Young, author of the study, states: parrot anatomy has evolved over many years to develop these ingenious behaviors To climb.
The only animal that does this
“Although many birds have so far climbed vertically, Parrots are the only birds known to use their head as a third limb. “This behavior appears to have required neuromuscular changes over time, including changes in the neck flexors and neural circuits in the spine, which produce additional strength,” says Melody.
Professor Mivhael Granatosky, an expert in the evolution of animal movement (movement) and author of the new study, suggests that parrots’ innovative climbing behavior may distinguish them from other animals.
“While young pandas are known to move their heads laterally when ascending vertical surfaces, which appears to use their heads as the ‘fifth limb’, it does not make contact with the surface. The use of the head as a propulsive limb represents an evolutionary innovation. “As far as we know, only parrots have it,” said Granatosky.
This project is the first step in a series of studies focusing on the locomotor behavior of parrots. Parrots are an ancient tree-dwelling (tree-dwelling) lineage that has many anatomical and behavioral parallels with living primates.
Over the next few years, Granatosky and his lab will work to understand the anatomical and neuromuscular underpinnings of the unusual locomotor behavior of parrots. develop bio-inspired robotic systems Simulate this movement.
Environment department contact address:firstname.lastname@example.org