Again, Why Don’t Animals Have Wheels?

Certain questions keep returning, as if on the edge of a rotating wheel:

Why the Wheels Won’t Go,” Michael LaBarbera [pictured here, without wheels], American Naturalist, Vol. 121, No. 3, March 1983, pp. 395-408. The author, at the University of Chicago, begins:

“Why don’t animals have wheels? Introductory hiology teachers commonly note the lack of rotating structures in biological systems, usually as a starting point to illustrate the restrictions that structure and physiology place on the forms which may arise via natural selection. The question of why animals do not have wheels is part of the professional folklore of hiology; while rarely addressed in the formal scientific literature, every biologist is familiar with the question and has a favorite set of explanations…”

BONUS: Wikipedia takes the question for a spin

Leave a Reply