Alfort’s Jumpers: Bunnies Who Motor Using Handstands

4
1000
By the time sauteur d’Alfort rabbits are a few months old, they learn how to walk on their front paws to accommodate their uncoordinated back legs. (Carneiro M et al., 2021, PLOS Genetics)

Thanks to a Genetic Mutation, These French Rabbits Prefer Handstands to Bunny Hops

by Theresa Machemer/Smithsonianmag.com

Sauteur d’Alfort is French for Alfort’s jumpers, but rabbits bearing the name don’t hop at all. When most rabbits would jump away—pushing off the ground with both back legs to propel themselves forward—sauteur d’Alfort bunnies instead throw their backends up over their heads, balance on their front paws and scurry forward.

The French veterinarian who first witnessed this behavior in 1935 said the rabbits looked like human acrobats walking on their hands, reports Cristophe-Cécil Garnier for Slate.



Now, researchers have identified the specific genetic mutation that leads to the bunnies’ particular locomotion. The mutation causes a malfunction in the nerve cells that coordinate messages from around the body to other muscle groups, which is key to a balanced gait. The results were published in a paper on March 25 in the journal PLOS Genetics.

The study’s implications go beyond rabbits. Lead author and Uppsala University geneticist Leif Andersson tells Science News’ Erin Garcia de Jesús that it is “contributing to our basic knowledge about a very important function in humans and all animals — how we are able to move.”

Read More:

ATTENTION READERS

We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.

4 COMMENTS

Comments are closed.