Animals spinning their wheels

Journal Article

The natural emergence of the wheel design can be predicted by using the constructal law in two ways. Firstly, considering the evolution of the wheels made by humans. Secondly, image the horizontal movement of a terrestrial animal as a rolling body. The order of magnitude of the speed of falling forward is the same as the speed of falling down. The body mass scale is equal to the density of the body times the length scale of the leg cubed. The legs, as two columns swinging back and forth, perform the function of an entire wheel-rim-track assembly. Evolution toward higher speeds points toward designs that are taller, which agrees with the evolutionary design of animal locomotion. The constructal-law direction is from long to tall, and this too agree with the evolution of animal locomotion such as bipedal locomotion evolved after quadrupedal locomotion.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bejan, A

Published Date

  • 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 133 / 6

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0025-6501