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Integrated Center for Marine Biomaterials and Ecomechanics

Biomechanics Columns

In the preface to his textbook Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World professor Steven Vogel said that "Comparative biomechanics...worries about why legged creatures switch from walking to running at particular speeds, how slugs slither, how flies fly, how samaras spin."

For over eight years I've written a regular column about biomechanics for Natural History magazine. During that time I've had a chance to talk about the hows and whys of organisms ranging from the daffodil to T. Rex.


The Lobster’s Violin June 2001

Got Silk? July/August 2001

Struttin' Your Stuff September 2001

A Fish Story October 2001

Sand Dune Two-Step November 2001

Spring Loaded December/January 2001

Hairy Noses February 2002

A Giant Leap for Wormkind March 2002

Twister! April 2002

Fast Food Joints May 2002

A Weighty Matter June 2002

Sex is in the Air July/August 2002

Fat heads sink ships September 2002

Lip-o-suction October 2002

Head Turner November 2002

How Does That Grab You? December 2002/January 2003

Flap Your Hands February 2003

Open wide (and fast) March 2003

Throwing yourself into it April 2003

Serpents in the air May 2003

Monitor Marathons June 2003

Extreme Forestry July/August 2003

Squeeze Play September 2003

Evolutionary Anthems October 2003

Tendons from the sea November 2003

Run to fly December 2003/January 2004

Fog sucking BeetlesFebruary 2004

Meddling with pedaling March 2004

Curve balls April 2004

How a Star Avoids the Limelight May 2004

As the whale turns June 2004

Float like a butterfly sting like a shrimp July/August 2004

Bent beak flycatcher September 2004

Slime and threads October 2004

Climbing high November 2004

Broken hearted December 2003/January 2005

Tall trees March 2005

Born to run April 2005

Snap catcher June 2005

Busted genes September 2005

Boxed Up To Go October 2005

Shooting small things November 2005

Sticky fly feet December 2005/January 2006

Bendy shark teeth February 2006

Slippery plant leaves March 2006

Bone substitute May 2006

Keep Me Hanging On July/August 2006

By a whisker September 2006

Nice threads October 2006

Jaws That Jump December 2006/January 2007

No bones about ‘em March 2007

A spring in its step May 2007

Cold squirts July/August 2007

Swiftly turning bird October 2007

Skate history December 2007

Ant flying February 2007

Eel biting March 2007

Rising fastball April 2008

Turtle righting April 2009



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Biomechanics Columns


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