Animal Biomechanics [Mechanical engineering]

Animal Biomechanics

The Physiology and Biomechanics of Human and Animal Locomotion

The movement of people, goods and messages has always been crucial to the development of mankind, as witnessed by the importance in everyone’s life today of cars/vehicles, internet and mobile phones. The same strive determined, long ago in the history of the planet, the appearance of animals and their continuous evolution towards a better adaptation to travel through various media (solid ground, water, air), a higher speed of movement (allowing to predate or to escape) and a more economical cost of transport, which allowed migration and biomass expansion.

While modern studies mostly focusses on human transport (in different environments, in many locomotion-related sports and assisted gaits), there are still open questions of remarkable importance regarding animal locomotion. Once solved, those aspects will also help to better understand human locomotion. For example, the reasons why a kangaroo spends less metabolic energy per meter travelled at increasing speeds would likely shed lights on the role of elastic structures (tendons, mainly) in human running. Furthermore, animal studies are the basis for biomimetics, a recent discipline ‘importing’ nature solutions, developed through million of years evolution, into our everyday life.



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