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The Neurobiology of an Insect Brain$
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Malcolm Burrows

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198523444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523444.001.0001

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Jumping Jumping

Jumping Jumping

Chapter:
(p.406) 9 Jumping
Source:
The Neurobiology of an Insect Brain
Author(s):

Malcolm Burrows

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523444.003.0009

Their large and powerful hind legs suggest that locusts are designed more for jumping than for walking, and indeed their performance when jumping approaches the maximum possible capabilities of a biological system. Adults jump by rapidly extending both hind legs at about the same time, to avoid predators and to initiate flight, while larvae boost their speed of locomotion by hopping. Locusts of all stages also repel adversaries by kicking rapidly with their hind legs, generally using them independently. The mechanisms underlying these jumping and kicking movements of the hind legs are basically similar, but are distinct from those used in walking. Both are ballistic movements that are only intermittently expressed at full power, but in kicking a hind leg is rotated at the coxa and the tarsus lifted from the ground, so that it can be aimed.

Keywords:   jumping, hind legs, locomotion, hopping, kicking movements, locusts

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