In at least one species of caterpillar, the gut appears to slide freely back and forth, untethered to the surrounding tissue - an unusual mechanism that might help the insect digest food while it crawls up stems in search of its leafy meals.
__Manduca sexta__ is a tobacco plant predator and a
model organism in neurophysiology

Image:Salzbrot via Wikimedia Commons
"What they're describing here, as far as I know, has never been described in any other animal," said zoologist linkurl:Michael LaBarbera,; who studies invertebrate biomechanics at the University of Chicago and was not involved in the study, published this week in linkurl:__Current Biology.__; For __Manduca sexta__ caterpillars, crawling begins in the back of their approximately five centimeter long bodies. They lift up their rear legs, initiating a wave of contractions and elongations that eventually reaches the head. It seemed reasonable for first author of the paper, linkurl:Michael Simon; at Tufts...
Video Abstract submitted to __Current Biology__ by M.A. Simon et al from Tufts University
M.A. Simon, et al., "Visceral-Locomotory Pistoning in Crawling Caterpillars" Current Biology, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.06.059, 2010.

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