In the study of these thin creatures (3 cm or less in diameter), it was found that their heads could produce large forces, enough to life over 2 kilograms of mass (over 4 pounds), allowing them to compress earth upwards to create a tunnel as they advance. The scientists assumed that they must be using powerful anaerobic muscles rather than weaker aerobic muscle tissue, but then it would be difficult to explain how they can continue digging for so long. Upon dissecting some of the creatures, they found that there were several times of aerobic muscle fibers but no anaerobic fibers that participated in digging. That explained the stamina, but the mystery then became how these creatures could exert such remarkable forces with aerobic muscles:
Navas and his team began investigating the muscle's structure, and found that the amphisbaenian's muscle fibres were incredibly long, angled at up to 35°, and curved around the reptile's body, increasing the muscle's effective cross sectional area and power output. Amphisbaenians have found a way of increasing aerobic muscle's force production while maintaining stamina to keep the slender reptile burrowing for hours.Amphisbaenians found the solution? Just a minor nit to pick here, but why is it that when a genius-level solution to a problem is found in nature, there is often praise for the creature (so bright, these limbless critters), and praise for the scientists who figure out what the solution is, but little praise for Anybody Else?
Note of Anticipation: Hey, I'm not saying that scientific articles need to introduce religion themes. I actually have no trouble with the scientific article itself, which doesn't praise the amphisbaenian's for finding anything, and while maintaining the accepted evolutionary viewpoint, does use the responsible word "designed":
In conclusion, to build underground galleries, the digging muscles of Leposternon microcephalum must be designed to produce forceful, powerful and repeated contractions of the head.That's fine. Let the reader decide who gets congratulated for the brilliant design. Praise the critters, praise Darwin, praise the authors, or praise the Designer who may have lent a helping hand to some limbless diggers somewhere along the way. Your call.