The foot pads of many mammals provide cushioning using hydrostatic structures, essentially working as fluid-filled cushions.
"Human heel pads and other mammalian foot pads make use of hydroskeletal support; our pads, which provide impact damping, some energy storage, and protection for bones, work as fluid-filled cushions--see, for instance, Ker (1999). They're complexly viscoelastic--if you want a stable reading of your height, you should stand for almost two minutes to allow your pads to creep into stability (Foreman and Linge 1989)." (Vogel 2003:417)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Ker, RF. 1999. The design of soft collagenous load-bearing tissues. Journal of Experimental Biology. 202: 3315-3324.
- Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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