|About this Abstract
||2016 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition
||Biological Materials Science Symposium
||Why the Seahorse Tail is Square
||Michael Porter, Dominique Adriaens, Ross Hatton, Marc Meyers, Joanna McKittrick
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
Whereas the predominant shapes of most animal tails are cylindrical, seahorse tails are square prisms. Seahorses use their tails as flexible grasping appendages, in spite of a rigid bony armor that fully encases their bodies. We explore the mechanics of two three-dimensional–printed models that mimic either the natural (square prism) or hypothetical (cylindrical) architecture of a seahorse tail to uncover whether or not the square geometry provides any functional advantages. Our results show that the square prism is more resilient when crushed and provides a mechanism for preserving articulatory organization upon extensive bending and twisting, as compared with its cylindrical counterpart. Thus, the square architecture is better than the circular one in the context of two integrated functions: grasping ability and crushing resistance.
||Planned: Publication Outside of TMS (Indicate publication title and publisher if known.)