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Pads cushion feet: mammals

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The foot pads of many mammals provide cushioning using hydrostatic structures, essentially working as fluid-filled cushions.

BIOMIMICRY TAXONOMY
Summary
"Human heel pads and other mammalian foot pads make use of hydroskeletal support; our pads, which provide impact damping, some energy storage, and protection for bones, work as fluid-filled cushions--see, for instance, Ker (1999). They're complexly viscoelastic--if you want a stable reading of your height, you should stand for almost two minutes to allow your pads to creep into stability (Foreman and Linge 1989)." (Vogel 2003:417)
About the inspiring organism
Mammalia
Mammalia

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist


Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Bicycle helmets, air bags, cushioned packaging, cushioning for machinery and noise dampening.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Safety, packaging, manufacturing, noise pollution

Experts
Research Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology
Robert F. Ker
School of Biology, The University of Leeds
References
Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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Ker, RF. 1999. The design of soft collagenous load-bearing tissues. Journal of Experimental Biology. 202: 3315-3324.
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