Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-5-2019

Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Biology

Publisher

Company of Biologists

Volume

222

Issue

23

First page number:

1

Last page number:

5

Abstract

Subterranean digging behaviors provide opportunities for protection, access to prey, and predator avoidance for a diverse array of vertebrates, yet studies of the biomechanics of burrowing have been limited by the technical challenges of measuring kinetics and kinematics of animals moving within a medium. We describe a new system for measuring 3D reaction forces during burrowing, called a ‘tunnel-tube’, which is composed of two, separately instrumented plastic tubes: an ‘entry tube’ with no medium, in series with a ‘digging tube’ filled with medium. Mean reaction forces are measured for a digging bout and Fourier analysis is used to quantify the amplitude of oscillatory digging force as a function of frequency. In sample data from pocket gophers digging in artificial and natural media, the mean ground reaction force is constant, whereas Fourier analysis resolves a reduced amplitude of oscillatory force in the artificial medium with lower compaction strength.

Keywords

Digging; Rodent; X-ray; Force; Biomechanics

Disciplines

Animal Sciences | Biomechanics

File Format

pdf

File Size

876 KB

Language

English

Available for download on Saturday, December 05, 2020

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