Ancient vertebrates could walk underwater millions of years ago

The neural networks necessary for walking may already be present in the common ancestor of stingrays and mammals.

about 420 million years ago.Millions of years before the first fearless fish crawled out of the ocean. But how exactly did our ancient aquatic ancestors walk? SEAS researchers have developed a mathematical framework to explain how underwater walking could have evolved.

Scientists have found that the ancient ancestors of stingrays andhumans could achieve effective underwater walking using accessible body morphology, with very little energy and simple controls. Ancient vertebrates had everything they needed to walk underwater millions of years before landfall. Research published in The Royal Society Interface magazine.

In their work, scientists have shown that the alternatingThe left-right gait originated with a simple algorithm based on reinforcement learning. The researchers built a bipedal robot to test their theory. The results confirmed the scientists' assumption.

This study not only sheds light onthe past, but also paves the way for the development of more efficient bioinspired robots in the future, the scientists note. In addition to energy efficient locomotion, scientists have found the robot has the ability to recover from serious disruptions.

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