• Question: can a tiy specimen of bacteria evolve so it has arms and legs?

    Asked by rseymour7nrl to David, Jonathan, Pete, Sam on 9 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 9 Jul 2012:

      That’s a difficult one. I think arms and legs – the ones like we have – are hugely complex things, and require lots of different types of cells (muscles, blood vessels, bone, and so on). So many, that I think bacteria are too small to be able to fit all of these on them. That being said, there are certain types of microbe that have leg-like projections called ‘pili’, that they can use to stand up and move about on!