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Leapin' Lizards

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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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