Functional Design of Dolphin Blubber.
Final rept. May 93-Sep 96,
NORTH CAROLINA UNIV AT WILMINGTON DEPT OF BIOLOGY
Pagination or Media Count:
The dolphin and its environment is sculpted by blubber - a complex, structural biomaterial. I have investigated the functional design of blubber by 1 measuring its 3-D architecture and its physical connections to other locomotor tissues, and 2 testing its dynamic biaxial stressstrain behavior. Blubber can be biomechanically modeled as an adipose hydrostat thorax blubber is designed to maximize body volume and tailstock blubber is designed to resist torsion and to store strain energy during swimming. Blubber is directly connected to the axial skeleton in the caudal tailstock, permitting force transmission and limiting shear deformation. Dynamic and pseudostatic mechanical tests have demonstrated that blubber is both a resilient tensile and compressive spring with an elastic modulus similar to that of high-quality biological and synthetic rubbers. Preliminary data demonstrate that blubber resists stress-relaxation. Blubber is morphologically and mechanically well-suited to 1 limit large scale shear deformation that might occur across the skins thickness and 2 function as a biological spring. This study is the first to present data that support the hypothesis that blubber may function as a spring to decrease the metabolic cost of swimming in dolphins.
- *COMPOSITE MATERIALS
- *BOUNDARY LAYER
- TEST AND EVALUATION
- SHEAR PROPERTIES
- MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
- COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN
- MODULUS OF ELASTICITY
- ADIPOSE TISSUE
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Laminates and Composite Materials