Integumentary System

The Physical Adaptations Underlying the Tardigrade’s Resistance to Extreme Environmental Conditions 

Although tardigrades were discovered in the late 18th century, they have continued to captivate scientists due to their outstanding resistance to environmental conditions that are lethal to most organisms and that is necessary given their ecological distribution across various environments. Explanations as to the mechanisms underlying this superior resistance have…

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Mathematical Modeling of Marine Suction Cups

Many marine animals have evolved to include suction cups, and the suction cups of the natural world continue to inspire synthetic cup technology. Mathematical models can be used to understand the adaptations of different species and the way these operate. By deepening the knowledge of suction mechanisms, new and better…

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Using Mathematical Principles to Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Form and Function of Hooves

The role of ungulates’ hooves, which are morphologically complex structures, is to support body weight and provide traction to aid in their adaptation to varied external conditions. This essay aims to investigate the relationship between the mathematical model and the morphology of the hoof. The golden ratio, an irrational constant…

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An Evolutionary Analysis of the Chemical Composition of Marine Suction Cups

Abstract Suction cups are important adaptations for aquatic animals, allowing for predation, locomotion, stability, and other species-specific functions. The chemical structure of each suction cup is designed by nature to be as energetically efficient as possible in performing the suction cup’s species-specific purpose, giving the suction cup chemical properties that…

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From Fetus to Fossil: A Microscopic Analysis of the Chemistry of the Hoof Throughout the Stages of Life

Abstract Hooves are morphologically complex structures among ungulates that support body weight and provide traction to assist their adaptation to various external environments. This article aims to investigate the differences in hooves throughout the stages of life. The perspective narrows from the general topic of hooves down to the fascinating…

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Mechanical Analysis of Animal Horns

This essay dives into animal horns and the physical composition, mechanical properties, and ingenious designs that make them incredibly effective at everything they do. It features a selection of horn structures from different organisms in the animal kingdom, which demonstrates the diversity of horn structures while also showing the uniform…

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A Mathematical Analysis of Animal Horns

The following essay examines the application of mathematics to biological structures, in particular animal horns. It begins by exploring the evolutionary reasons for ornamental appendages among horned animals.  Mathematical computations reveal a relationship between ornament size and “honest advertisement” due to a high cost of having such large appendages. Furthermore,…

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Spines: The Multitudes and Multi-functionalities of their Mechanisms

Abstract Many organisms possess internal defense mechanisms, intrinsic properties, and behaviors adapted for their survival. Spines and quills differ immensely across families, and this disparity exacerbates further amongst taxa. Environmental pressures such as predation and habitat unique to each species results in various physical design mechanisms for spines and quills.…

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The Complexity of Spines and their Mathematical Connections

Physical phenomena seen in nature are often optimized and refined to achieve a particular function. Evaluating spines’ physical and chemical characteristics can only reveal so much in the story of the optimization process. Modeling is an extremely powerful tool to unlock the secrets of developing the hidden strengths of particular…

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Biomechanics of Marine Suction Cups and Applications to Artificial Suction Technology

Suction cups are important adhesive adaptations for many marine animals, allowing for locomotion, predation, stability, and grasping of objects. Interesting morphological adaptations have allowed the suction cups of distinct species to best accommodate the purpose of the suctioning mechanism as well as the unique environment that the organism inhabits. The…

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Fancy Footwork: A Morphological Study of the Role of the Hoof in Ungulate Locomotion in Habitats Around the World

In many mammals around the world, nature has designed a variable and complex structure placed at the tips of limbs called a hoof. Hoofed mammals, also called ungulates, are divided into two orders: even- and odd-toed ungulates. The divergence of these mammals from a common ancestor has led to the…

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Biomolecular Applications of Animal Horns

Ovis canadensis (“Bighorn Sheep,” 2022) Chemistry is the basis of life. Behind every thought, feeling, movement, or biological function, there are a series of chemical reactions occurring. With this said, it comes as no surprise that the chemical composition of animal horns plays a vital role in the mechanical properties,…

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