Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/5759
Title: Why do woodpeckers resist head impact injury : a biomechanical investigation
Authors: Wang, L
Cheung, TMJ
Pu, F
Li, D
Zhang, M 
Fan, YB
Keywords: Woodpecker
Head injury
Neuroprotection
Kinematics
Issue Date: 26-Oct-2011
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Source: PLoS one, 26 Oct. 2011, v. 6, no. 10, e26490, p. 1-8 How to cite?
Journal: PLoS one 
Abstract: Head injury is a leading cause of morbidity and death in both industrialized and developing countries. It is estimated that brain injuries account for 15% of the burden of fatalities and disabilities, and represent the leading cause of death in young adults. Brain injury may be caused by an impact or a sudden change in the linear and/or angular velocity of the head. However, the woodpecker does not experience any head injury at the high speed of 6–7 m/s with a deceleration of 1000 g when it drums a tree trunk. It is still not known how woodpeckers protect their brain from impact injury. In order to investigate this, two synchronous high-speed video systems were used to observe the pecking process, and the force sensor was used to measure the peck force. The mechanical properties and macro/micro morphological structure in woodpecker's head were investigated using a mechanical testing system and micro-CT scanning. Finite element (FE) models of the woodpecker's head were established to study the dynamic intracranial responses. The result showed that macro/micro morphology of cranial bone and beak can be recognized as a major contributor to non-impact-injuries. This biomechanical analysis makes it possible to visualize events during woodpecker pecking and may inspire new approaches to prevention and treatment of human head injury.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/5759
EISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026490
Rights: © 2011 Wang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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