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Measuring the leap of a lizard

Creatures use their tails to balance during complex maneuvers

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The animators of Jurassic Park were right on in their depiction of Velociraptor aeronautics: A leaping lizard uses its tail to correct ungainly maneuvers, akin to a tightrope walker with a balancing pole. 

Researchers have confirmed a 40-year-old hypothesis regarding dinosaur acrobatics by studying Agama lizards. The critters arch their tails towards their heads when leaping to prevent a nose dive, a team reports online January 4 in Nature.

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