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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jumping secrets of gibbons revealed: It's all in a fluid, crouch and lunge technique


Flying through the air with the greatest of ease... A female black crested gibbon leaps. The animals have been known to jump 10m from tree to tree

The secret to gibbons' incredible jumping ability is as simple as very good technique, the latest research has revealed.

Gibbons, which dwell in the canopies of the tropical rainforest, are capable 10m tree-to-tree leaps from a standing start.

But with none of the anatomical adaptations usually found in specialist jumping animals, their fantastic aerial abilities had been hitherto unexplained.

Total commitment: Wild gibbon at the start of a 20ft leap to the next tree

Now researchers have found found gibbons leaping secret lies in a fluid crouch-and-lunge technique, with the primates using their long heavy arms as pendulums to swing their weight forward as they spring into their leap.

Their long flexible limbs and strong torso reach a full stretch before they take off to give them a 'push-off distance' that outstrips other leaping primates and is four times what humans can achieve.

source: dailymail


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