Classical biomechanics rocks!

This January I have been teaching the theoretical background of classical biomechanics in the workshop “Introduction to Functional Morphology and Biomechanics” (4th Ed) in Catalonia (Premises of Sabadell of the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP)). My colleagues Dr. Richard Fariña, Dr. Pere Ibáñez-Gimeno and Dr. Soledad de Esteban-Trivingno are showing simple models based on the basic principles of classical physics to infer the life history of extinct vertebrates. My duty in this workshop is introduce the physics of the problems: Static equations, Newton laws, Beam theory and tools such as Free Body Diagram or Moment and Force Diagrams to the attendants.

The three laws of motion were first compiled by Isaac Newton in his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), first published in 1687 and the Beam Theory for bending was first enunciated circa 1750 by Leonhard Euler and Daniel Bernoulli. In spite of being quite old theories they are nowadays used in biomechanics to solve lots of problems related with the chewing mechanism of vertebrates or the behaviour of bones.

Some recent examples from 2015 and 2016 are the three dimensional free body analysis that describe the relationship between the orientation and position of the jaw elevator muscles, the position of the jaw articulation relative to the bite point, the joint reaction forces and the bite force in the lower jaw of the non-mammalian cynodont Probainognathus: or the work of my colleagues Varela & Fariña where the moment arms of jaw muscles and the hypsodonty index (HI) have been used in Artiodactyla in a research done last year:

This examples are giving us the perspective that, in spite of being old theories, biomechanics are still rocking and we can use in our new brand research.


More information of the course:…/funct-mo…/biomechanics/


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