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Scientists have discovered maggots can avoid predators by turning their bodies into an improved spring and launching themselves into the air.
Researchers at the University of Lincoln found maggots can press down on the rear portion of their body and then leaping several inches into the air.
Footage - Manoeuvre - Times - Distance
They even caught footage of the impressive manoeuvre, which is 28 times more efficient than crawling over the same distance.
Dr Mike Wise at Roanoke College, a co-author of the study, said: 'If their galls are damaged in nature, they need to scoot to have a chance at survival.
Asphondylia - Maggots - Safety - Feat - Animal
'But these Asphondylia maggots don't simply wriggle away: they catapult themselves to safety, which is quite a feat for an animal with no legs. It borders on the fantastical.'
The scientists spent spent three years examining the larvae and developing a suitable technique to capture the feat of locomotion.
Asphondylia - Maggots - Power - Leaps - Period
The 3mm long Asphondylia maggots only perform their power leaps for a brief period each August; so the team filmed non-stop for the few days they were available in order to capture the take-offs.
The leaps can range from 1.9 - 4.7 inches (49 to 121mm) – up to 40 times the length of the larvae themselves.
Dr - Gregory - Sutton - Royal - Society
Dr Gregory Sutton, Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of...
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