Linkage mechanics and power amplification of the mantis shrimp's strike.
Mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda) generate extremely rapid and forceful predatory strikes through a suite of structural modifications of their raptorial appendages. Here we examine the key morphological and kinematic components of the raptorial strike that amplify the power output of the underlying muscle contractions. Morphological analyses of joint mechanics are integrated with CT scans of mineralization patterns and kinematic analyses toward the goal of understanding the mechanical basis of linkage dynamics and strike performance. We test whether a four-bar linkage mechanism amplifies rotation in this system and find that the rotational amplification is approximately two times the input rotation, thereby amplifying the velocity and acceleration of the strike. The four-bar model is generally supported, although the observed kinematic transmission is lower than predicted by the four-bar model. The results of the morphological, kinematic and mechanical analyses suggest a multi-faceted mechanical system that integrates latches, linkages and lever arms and is powered by multiple sites of cuticular energy storage. Through reorganization of joint architecture and asymmetric distribution of mineralized cuticle, the mantis shrimp's raptorial appendage offers a remarkable example of how structural and mechanical modifications can yield power amplification sufficient to produce speeds and forces at the outer known limits of biological systems.
Patek, SN; Nowroozi, BN; Baio, JE; Caldwell, RL; Summers, AP
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)