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Frogs leapt before they landed

Amphibians learned to jump first, then mastered the touchdown

1:04pm, July 23, 2010

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Frogs learned to leap long before they learned how to land smoothly, researchers suggest, based on the simple observation that the amphibians have been hopping around for hundreds of millions of years, but some species still have trouble sticking their landings.

Many people, and even many scientists, presume that frogs all jump the same way, says Richard L. Essner Jr., an evolutionary biologist at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. Per the conventional view of a hop, a frog rapidly extends its hind limbs to launch itself skyward, rotates forward as it soars gracefully through the air, and then uses its forelimbs to efficiently absorb the force of its land

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