Virginia Tech
Browse
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
Download file
1/1
21 files

How seabirds plunge-dive without injuries

dataset
posted on 2021-02-23, 20:36 authored by Brian Chang, Sunghwan Jung
In nature, several seabirds (e.g., gannets and boobies) dive into water at up to 24 m/s as a hunting mechanism; furthermore, gannets and boobies have a slender neck, which is potentially the weakest part of the body under compression during high-speed impact. In this work, we investigate the stability of the bird’s neck during plunge-diving by understanding the interaction between the fluid forces acting on the head and the flexibility of the neck. First, we use a salvaged bird to identify plunge-diving phases. Anatomical features of the skull and neck were acquired to quantify the effect of beak geometry and neck musculature on the stability during a plunge-dive. Second, physical experiments using an elastic beam as a model for the neck attached to a skull-like cone revealed the limits for the stability of the neck during the bird’s dive as a function of impact velocity and geometric factors. We find that the neck length, neck muscles, and diving speed of the bird predominantly reduce the likelihood of injury during the plunge-dive. Finally, we use our results to discuss maximum diving speeds for humans to avoid injury.

History

Publisher

University Libraries, Virginia Tech