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Ancestors jogging for everyone! † BNR News Radio

Except for kids and a few people who like to ride hobby horses – that’s really a thing – it’s mostly animals that roam. It turns out that they were able to do this 472 million years ago.

Most will immediately think of a horse when running, but camels, lions, and giraffes can also do something. It is a form of locomotion that lies under asymmetrical gait, in which the animal’s feet touch the ground in an irregular pattern. Such a passage is also found in rabbits, reptiles and some fish that crawl over the bottom.

The idea has long been that jogging arose around the same time as the arrival of the first mammals: about 210 million years ago. But researchers are now contradicting that.

When they took a closer look at the family tree of animal species with such a gait, and with some help from clever computer models, they came up with a different number. It makes more sense that the ancestors of these animals – who still live in the water – actually used some form of this passage about 472 million years ago as they moved along the bottom.

In fact, almost all animals living today had galloping ancestors. Only some – like frogs and elephants – eventually lost this skill. It seems that we humans have rediscovered it thanks to a great new hobby sport.

Read more: Animals developed the ability to run 472 million years ago

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