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Darting lizards swing from four-legged to two-legged locomotion like a road bike popping a wheelie, a study published [Friday] in Journal of Experimental Biology suggests.
"It's a very interesting paper," said Duncan Irschick, a functional morphologist at the University of Massachusetts who did not participate in the research. "People have never understood why lizards run bipedally."
... [Christofer] Clemente and colleagues [at the University of Cambridge] filmed lizards running on a treadmill. "We showed that there tends to be this acceleration threshold -- there's this one acceleration where once the lizard hits it, it really has no choice but to go bipedal because the torque starts to move its head up," he said.
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Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.
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