Animal World | Most Amazing Paws
Hands for a person are one of the most important parts of the body. With the help of hands we do almost everything, even communicate. However, man is not the only creature on the planet with dexterous hands and fingers. The limbs of animals, which are commonly called paws, can surprise a lot. We invite you to learn about the most unusual paws in the animal kingdom.
Animal World | Most Amazing Paws
1. Threatening AI
Ai-ai – an amazing creature that lives in Madagascar, who knows how to “show the middle finger” like no one else in the world. Ai-ay or a small arm – a small primate, which can be called the strangest of all primates. He has ugly bony paws with long fingers and claws, which reminds the heroes of fairy tales about vampires and werewolves.
Moreover, the middle finger of the arm is slightly larger than the others and noticeably protrudes. With its help, the beast knocks on trees in search of voids in the bark, where tasty insects that it feeds can hide. If ay finds a treat, he bites through the wood and, with his ominous long finger, catches prey.
The hands, despite their menacing appearance, are completely harmless to everyone except insects, however, the inhabitants of Madagascar are very unfriendly to these animals, considering the meeting with them a bad sign. If an ai-ai is seen near the village, he will be killed immediately, as it is believed that otherwise, then misfortune will fall on the village.
2. Flying Frog Helen
In 2009, while traveling through a forest near the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh City, biologists stumbled upon an amazing frog. This frog about 9 centimeters long, as it turned out, belonged to a new species of flying frogs unknown to science, which are known for their ability to jump from one tree to another and soar in the air using special paws with membranes.
Biologist Judy Rowley, who discovered this frog in Vietnam, gave it the name Flying Frog Helen in honor of his mother Helen Rowley.
3. Multi-fingered mole
Moles are very cute animals, with the possible exception of the mole ratter, which lives in the USA and Canada. Moles have amazing limbs that they simply need to travel underground. Large flat forepaws work like shovels, and long claws on the fingers allow you to dig underground burrows and tunnels in which moles find shelter and food.
In 2011, researchers at the University of Zurich suggested why moles’ paws dig so well: moles have one extra finger – a crescent-shaped spare thumb. This thumb does not have a motor joint, the mole rests on it during digging, which gives its paws and shovels extra strength. Studies have shown that the bone of this finger develops from the bones of the wrist at the embryo stage somewhat later than the bones of the remaining fingers. Moles really have not 5, but 6 toes!
4. Sticky gecko
Geckos boast amazing paws that allow them to cling to almost any surface. The lines on the soles of their feet are covered with hairs called bristles, which are also covered with bristles. The latter structures are so small that they allow geckos to adhere to the surface on which they move. They allow you to strengthen the strength of van der Waals, a weak electric force that holds many things together, including most organic substances.
By the way, the unusual paws of geckos inspired researchers and engineers to research. Canadian scientists from the European Space Agency have developed special sticky pads that allow robots to board spacecraft to carry out repairs.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed an adhesive bandage and surgical glue, eyeing the idea of a gecko. These new inventions are potentially less aggressive than conventional medicine used to heal wounds after injuries and surgeries.
5. Tenacious goatsin
Goacin chicks are the only birds in the world that can boast of having claws on their wings. However, with age, birds lose this feature. It is no coincidence that the chick has such strange limbs: with the help of its claws, he climbs up trees and climbs into a nest if he suddenly falls into the water.
Little Hands Warm Their Finger in Search of Food
The mysterious nocturnal primate ay-ay or, as it is also called, a small arm that lives in Madagascar, heats its very elongated finger when it goes in search of food. The arm, the largest nocturnal primate, with the help of a specially adapted middle finger searches for nutritious beetle larvae on tree trunks.
After examining the thermal images, the researchers found that the middle finger, which is usually slightly colder than the others, heats up to 6 degrees Celsius while searching for food. Scientists believe that AI conserves energy by keeping a finger cold under normal conditions.
A team of scientists from the University of Department in New Hampshire, USA, investigated the surface temperature of sensitive textures. The unusual long finger of the little arms, as shown by studies, was very sensitive to vibration, so scientists have chosen this animal for study.
“We were struck by how cold the third finger was when the animal did not use it, and how quickly it heated to match the temperature of the other fingers when it was necessary to use it to find food,” said former student Gillian Moritz (Gillian Moritz), who conducted research under the leadership of Dr. Nathaniel Dominy (Nathaniel Dominy).
When the finger is not used, it is shown in black on thermal images. This indicates a large temperature difference between it and the white (hot) ears and eyes of the animal. But when the animal begins to search for food, the temperature of the finger rises sharply. “We believe that the relatively cold temperature of a finger at rest can be associated with its long and thin shape,” Moritz says. “ This shape gives a relatively high surface to volume ratio, which is unfavorable for maintaining temperature.”
In order to feel the vibration of the beetle larvae through the bark of a tree, the finger has sensitive nerve endings. However, keeping these sensitive receptors always warm takes too much energy. “Like any fragile instrument, the finger probably stays inactive when not in use,” Moritz said.
It is not yet clear exactly how the little arm can control the temperature of one single finger. Moritz offers two versions as an explanation. Perhaps the blood vessels that feed the finger may narrow or expand. According to another version, which is less plausible, the animal uses the method of heat control, which is associated with the flexibility of the finger.
Moritz explains: “Since the finger is very fragile and vulnerable to injury, the animal pinches it back while moving when the finger is not active.” Perhaps when the animal is going to use it, it unclenches the finger, and warmblood flows into it. Just as when clamping garden hoses, the flow of water stops, the arteries also stop the flow of blood during compression, so the finger is much colder than the other neighboring fingers.
Ai-ai is the only known animal that has a similar feature. These animals are threatened with extinction, mainly due to the deterioration of living conditions. The ugly primate is often harassed. Madagascar superstitions describe this species as a “bad omen”: those who are pointed at by the mysterious finger of the arm-arm are in danger of early death.