Outside of microscopic structures (I'm thinking of a flagellum, which I think is a true motor) has any animal evolved a part that continually rotates compared to the rest of its body?

  • $\begingroup$ A more universal microscopic example is the ATP synthase in mitochondria. The flagellum example only applies to bacterial flagella. Can't help on macroscopic examples. $\endgroup$
    – bpedit
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ Have a look at this: there's a reasonably well-written popular discussion of why the evolution of such a body part is very difficult to imagine. However the page does mention this as the single known macroscopic example (a rod rotated by cilia). $\endgroup$
    – Anon
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ Not a 360 degree rotation but Owls can rotate their heads by 270 degrees without any serous damage. $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 12:37
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    $\begingroup$ Duplicate biology.stackexchange.com/questions/7932/… $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 13:30
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    $\begingroup$ @HuguesFontenelle Not really a dupe, admitedly, if there were animals with wheels then that would answer this question but the lact of animals with wheels doesn't mean the lack of any rotational body part. $\endgroup$
    – BanksySan
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 14:18


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