The Fin-Ray effect®, invented in 1997 by Leif Kniese and patented by EvoLogics GmbH Berlin describes a flexible construction to transfer forces. The structure is inspired by rays of fishes and is surprisingly simple. Fishes have a basic structure consisting of two bones that are attached by elastic connective tissue. The tail fin is the prime mover for movement. It consists of several basic structures stacked one above the other. It is very important that the structure is light but strong enough, because excess weight is inappropriate in terms of energy losses. The design simulating a fish fin consists of two longitudinal fibers, which are on either side (top) attached. Among the longitudinal fibers are cross fibers that keep the whole structure after assembly. The longitudinal and cross fibers are connected with flexible links that allow movement between them. source
As the frog readies itself to leap, its calf muscle shortens. After about 100 milliseconds, the calf muscle stops moving, and the energy has been fully loaded into the stretched tendon. At the moment the frog jumps, the tendon, which wraps around the ankle bone, releases its energy, much like a catapult or archer's bow, causing a very rapid extension of the ankle joint that propels the frog forward. The entire jump — from preparation to leap — lasts about a fifth of a second. source
Tendons are tissues that connect muscles to bone. When muscles contract, tendons pull on bones. This causes parts of the body (such as a finger) to move. The muscles that move the fingers and thumb are located in the forearm. Long tendons extend from these muscles through the wrist and attach to the small bones of the fingers and thumb. The tendons on the top of the hand straighten the fingers. These are known as extensor tendons. The tendons on the palm side bend the fingers. These are known as the flexor tendons. When you bend or straighten your finger, the flexor tendons slide through snug tunnels, called tendon sheaths, that keep the tendons in place next to the bones.
The bionic claw makes use of the Fin-Ray® structure, which was transferred to three dimensional space. Three short flex-bricks inside this lever-construction cause a permanent opening mechanism.
Due to the adaptive fingers with a Fin Ray® structure, this flex-gripper is not only variable in terms of the direction of grip, as the fingers themselves can adapt to a wide variety of shapes. A flexible lever-construction enables the gripper to open automatically.
An adult butterfly has two wings, six legs, and a long body that has three segments: the head, the thorax and the abdomen. The two wings are divided into the forewing and the hind wing and attached to the thorax. The wings of the butterfly are also attached to the last two segments of the thorax; the forewings are attached to the second segment and the hindwings are attached to the third segment. A butterfly’s wings are supported by the veins that pass through them and operated by the muscles attached at the base of the wing connected to the thorax. A butterfly’s wings are covered in scales to protect them and besides veins they have tubes with harden walls and trachea for more support. The abdomen is composed of eleven segments and contains the end of the digestive system and areas to store fat bodies for energy. source
The leaves of Venus' Flytrap open wide and on them are short, stiff hairs called trigger or sensitive hairs. When anything touches these hairs enough to bend them, the two lobes of the leaves snap shut trapping whatever is inside. The trap will shut in less than a second. The trap doesn't close all of the way at first. It is thought that it stays open for a few seconds in order to allow very small insects to escape because they wouldn't provide enough food. If the object isn't food, e.g., a stone, or a nut, the trap will reopen in about twelve hours and 'spit' it out. source
Did you know that mice can dig, can vertically jump up to 40 cm, can fall at least 2.5 m without injury, and can squeeze through openings as small as 6 mm wide. source
Did you know that the shell cannot expand in size? As the lobster grows it sheds periodically. Lobsters without shells are very vulnerable and they usually hide until new shell is formed. This process is called molting and it happens once per year. source
In a study published in Nature Communications researchers found that the secret behind the easy swimming of jellyfish is suction. Instead of using its muscles to push water out of the way, a jellyfish moves its body to create an area of low pressure in the water around it. The difference in pressure creates suction, pulling the jellyfish through the water. source
Rose hips of some species are extremely rich in vitamin C, because of this the hip is sometimes made into jam, jelly, or brewed for tea. The hip also has minor medicinal uses, used in food supplements and can be pressed or filtered to make rose hip syrup. Hip seed oil is also used in skin products and makeup products. source
Dragonflies can move each of their four wings independently. In addition to flapping each wing up and down, they can rotate their wings forward and back on an axis. This flexibility enables them to put on an aerial show like no other insect. Dragonflies can move straight up or down, fly backwards, stop and hover, and make hairpin turns, at full speed or in slow motion. A dragonfly can fly forward at a speed of 100 body lengths per second, or up to 30 miles per hour. Scientists at Harvard University used high-speed cameras to study dragonfly flight. They photographed dragonflies taking flight, catching prey, and returning to a perch, all within the a time span of just 1-1.5 seconds. source
Your legs are composed of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. They all work together to help your legs stretch, bend, flex and perform other general movements. Your leg has seven main, or large groups, of muscle as well as several tendons. Tendons connect your muscles to your bones and act as cables, allowing your bones to move your muscles.
Did you know that snails are hermaphrodites?
Snails have the reproductive organs of both, males and females, which categorize them as hermaphrodites. However, they cannot create offspring on their own. They must mate with another and then both of them will have the ability to lay eggs. source
Shark skin is a multifunctional marvel. Seawater and the countless potential ecto-parasites within it (barnacle larvae, algae, bacteria, etc.) are a constant flow hazard for sharks, for whom moving efficiently through water is an imperative. Most shark species move through water with high-efficiency in order to catch fast-moving prey, obtain sufficient oxygen through largely passive gills, and maintain buoyancy. Through its ingenious design, their skin turns out to be an essential aid in this behavior by reducing friction drag and auto-cleaning ecto-parasites from their surface. Boat manufacturers have recently taken an interest in how sharks achieve their unimpeded movement through water both because friction drag and the attachment of organisms on a ship’s hull are major sources of energy inefficiency. source
Perhaps the inspiration of the bat shines through the most, as the two wings of the device feature pointed ends commonly associated with the winged creature. Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine had a wingspan that exceeded 33 feet, and the frame was to be made of pine covered in raw silk to create a light but sturdy membrane. source