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  • Strategy

Pressure allows movement: echinoderms


Student design of mollusc-inspired wind turbine / Tom Bielecki / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

Legs and tubes in echinoderms such as starfish allow movement and feeding by use of hydrostatic pressure.

"Their [echinoderms'] bodies work by unique exploitation of hydrostatic principles. Feet, each a thin tube ending in a sucker and kept firm by the pressure of water within, wave and curl in rows along the arms. The water for this system circulates quite separately from that in the body cavity. It is drawn through a pore into a channel surrounding the mouth and circulated throughout the body and into the myriads of tube feet. When a drifting particle of food touches an arm, tube feet fasten on to it and pass it on from one to another until it reaches the gutter that runs down the upper surface of the arm to the mouth at the centre." (Attenborough 1979:49)
About the inspiring organism

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

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Prosthetic limbs, robotics, transportation or other movement using water pressure.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Manufacturing, medical, transportation

Attenborough, David. 1979. Life on Earth. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company. 319 p.
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