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Elastic ligament provides support, shock absorption: large grazing mammals

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American bison / Jack Dykinga.. / LicensePD - Public Domain

The nuchal ligament of large grazing mammals provides support for the head and seems to act as a shock absorber, due to the presence of the protein elastin.

BIOMIMICRY TAXONOMY
Summary
"Our own rubber, elastin, occurs mainly as a component of two composites, skin and arterial wall. The nearest thing to pure elastin is the nuchal ligament of large grazing mammals. It runs from a ridge on the rear of the skull back along the top of the neck to the thoracic vertebrae; it seems to act as a shock absorber as well as a support for the head." (Vogel 2003:304)
About the inspiring organism
Bovidae
Bovidae

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: Flexible yet resilient cables and hoses, composite materials, improved materials for shock absorption (e.g. seatbelts).

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Structural engineering, materials science, telecommunications, utilities, transportation

References
Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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