asteroza + body + biocomposite   1

UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering
Apparently Toucan birds have a highly mechanically optimized beak. Very lightweight, with a hollow structure where there are no stresses, and elsewhere a bone fiber/membrane foam enclosed by an outer keratin tile sheet exterior, creating a natural biocomposite foam sandwich material in their beaks. Still doesn't explain fully why the beaks are so large, especially for a fruit eater. There was other research into beak properties by using IR camera studies, and it appears the beak is also used as a high performance controllable blood heat radiator to dump metabolic heat. They do interesting tricks like doing a burst of heat dumping just prior to going to sleep to slow down metabolic processes quicker.
core  hollow  lightweight  beak  large  bird  Toucan  sandwich  exterior  tile  keratin  foam  bone  composite  biocomposite  engineering  mechanical  research  structure  body  animal  Delicious 
december 2012 by asteroza

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