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Salamander locomotion as a standing wave

  1. Dec 13, 2015 #1

    bcrowell

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    I recently came across a couple of very cool papers about animal locomotion:

    Collins and Stewart, "Symmetry-breaking bifurcation: A possible mechanism for 2:1 frequency-locking in animal locomotion," J. Math. Biol. (1992) 30:827-838

    Collins and Stewart, "Coupled Nonlinear Oscillators and the Symmetries of Animal Gaits," J. Nonlinear Sci. Vol. 3: pp. 349-392 (1993)

    PDFs can be found by googling. On p. 34 of the second one is a nifty example that I thought would be of interest to students in the kind of survey course that biology majors have to take. As a salamander crawls, its body wiggles in a standing-wave pattern. A dogfish makes a traveling wave. I thought the salamander example was cool enough that I created a drawing for my online textbook http://www.lightandmatter.com/lm/ (section 20.4).
     
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  3. Dec 13, 2015 #2

    A.T.

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  4. Dec 13, 2015 #3
    Now if you look at millipedes walk, their legs seem to make waves.
     
  5. Dec 13, 2015 #4

    bcrowell

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    I just about died laughing when I read the procedure for the friction measurement.

    As far as I know, most such examples (earthworms, dogfish, snakes) are traveling waves, not standing waves, and the standing-wave pattern of the salamander is unusual.
     
  6. Dec 13, 2015 #5

    A.T.

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