Smashing mantis shrimp strategically impact shells

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Crane, R.L., S.M. Cox, S.A. Kisare, and S. N. Patek. 2018.  Smashing mantis shrimp strategically impact shells. Journal of Experimental Biology 221, jeb176099doi:10.1242/jeb.176099.

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Publication Year: 
2018
Publishing Journal Info: 

Journal of Experimental Biology

The ability to break canonically strong mollusk shells is a key strategy for many predators, often requiring specialized weaponry and behaviors. Current understanding of shell fracture mechanics is primarily based on relatively slow application of forces (high impulse, low peak force), mimicking jaw and claw-based predators, whereas the principles underlying the biomechanics and behavioral strategies of impact fracture (low impulse, high peak force) remain uncertain.

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Mantis shrimp shell-breaking strategies published in JEB

Former Patek Lab manager Rachel Crane (now grad student at Stanford), former grad student Suzanne Cox (now postdoc at Penn State), former Duke undergrad Samantha Kisare (soon-to-be med student at UPenn) and Sheila Patek published a new paper in the Journal of Experimental Biology about mantis shrimp strategies for breaking snail shells.

Download the paper from JEB.

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The principles of cascading power limits in small, fast biological and engineered systems

Full Citation: 

Ilton, M., Bhamla, M.S., Ma, X., Cox, S.M., Fitchett, L.L., Kim, Y., Koh, J.-s., Krishnamurthy, D., Kuo, C.-Y., Temel, F.Z., Crosby, A. J., Prakash, M., Sutton, G.P., Wood, R.J., Azizi, E. Bergbreiter, S., and S.N. Patek.  (2018). The principles of cascading power limits in small, fast biological and engineered systems. Science 360 (6387).  DOI: 10.1126/science.aao1082

Publication Year: 
2018
Publishing Journal Info: 

Science

Mechanical power limitations emerge from the physical trade-off between force and velocity. Many biological systems incorporate power-enhancing mechanisms enabling extraordinary accelerations at small sizes. We establish how power enhancement emerges through the dynamic coupling of motors, springs, and latches and reveal how each displays its own force-velocity behavior. We mathematically demonstrate a tunable performance space for spring-actuated movement that is applicable to biological and synthetic systems.

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