Fluid pressure provides support: blue crab
The body of the blue crab functions during exoskeletal molt using hydrostatic pressure.
|Biomimetic Application Ideas|
|Hydrostatic skeletal support, hydrostatic "forms" for concrete.|
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"Like vertebrates, crustaceans usually move their limbs using muscles attached to a hard skeleton--albeit one on the outside of the body rather than the inside. But when a crab sheds its skeleton to grow a bigger shell, the muscles are left without any rigid surface to pull against. How do they do it? William Kier and Jennifer Taylor of UNC-Chapel Hill investigated, and found that, during molting, crabs use hydrostatic pressure to create a stiff structure against which muscles can pull. Fluid pressure in the claw goes up as the muscles contract; if you remove a claw during molting, it deflates like a flat tire. Once the shell has hardened, however, pressure does not change during muscle use. Soft-shelled crabs are the first animals known to use both a skeleton and hydrostatic pressure for support." (Jones 2003:17)
Callinectes sapidus M. J. Rathbun, 1896
IUCN Red List Status: Unknown
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist
Application Ideas: Hydrostatic skeletal support, hydrostatic "forms" for concrete.
Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Construction, packaging, transportation, manufacturing
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill