Title
Finite-element modelling reveals force modulation of jaw adductors in stag beetles Finite-element modelling reveals force modulation of jaw adductors in stag beetles
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Engineering sciences. Technology
Source (journal)
Journal of the Royal Society interface: physical and life sciences. - London
Volume/pages
11(2014) :101 , 8 p.
ISSN
1742-5689
1742-5689
Article Reference
20140908
Carrier
E-only publicatie
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Male stag beetles carry large and heavy mandibles that arose through sexual selection over mating rights. Although the mandibles of Cyclommatus metallifer males are used in pugnacious fights, they are surprisingly slender. Our bite force measurements show a muscle force reduction of 18% for tip biting when compared with bites with the teeth located halfway along the mandibles. This suggests a behavioural adaptation to prevent failure. We confirmed this by constructing finite-element (FE) models that mimic both natural bite situations as well as the hypothetical situation of tip biting without muscle force modulation. Thesemodels, based on micro-CT images, investigate the material stresses in the mandibles for different combinations of bite location and muscle force. Young's modulus of the cuticle was experimentally determined to be 5.1 GPa with the double indentation method, and the model was validated by digital image correlation on living beetles. FE analysis proves to be a valuable tool in the investigation of the trade-offs of (animal) weapon morphology and usage. Furthermore, the demonstrated bite force modulation in male stag beetles suggests the presence of mechanosensors inside the armature.
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