In Nature, Animals That Stop and Start Win the Race

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Science  07 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5463, pp. 83-85
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5463.83

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For decades researchers have emphasized steady-state locomotion, bringing organisms into the laboratory and watching them move at a steady pace. But recent results are showing that animals from aquatic invertebrates to humans move like window shoppers, stopping and starting as they seek out food, mates, or shelter. Probing the fitful nature of locomotion is helping researchers understand how various organisms' bodies and biochemistry are adapted for movement, and it may even have applications in human medicine.