Animal / parasite / ectoparasite / blood sucker
adult of Oeciacus hirundinis sucks the blood of nestling of Picidae
Other: minor host/prey
Known prey organisms
Evolution and Systematics
The body of woodpeckers manages chiseling impacts thanks to its curved body shape and tail that acts as a bracing spring.
"[Franco] Lodato took as his model [for an ice axe] the woodpecker--a bird that chisels into wood to get at the insect larvae on which it feeds. Despite the bird's small size, it can manage 25 hits a second, with a surprisingly forceful impact. Studying the woodpecker's biomechanics further, Lodato found that its body is designed specifically for this movement. Woodpeckers brace themselves with their tails, which function as springs, taking advantage of both their center of gravity and their skull-bone configuration to absorb considerable stress. In other words, the birds did not hammer on the wood by using their necks. The finished axe consists of 'an inner core of titanium into which is inserted an adjustable aluminum point. These two parts are attached by a hinge inspired by the two valves of a mollusk. Special attention was dedicated to the shape of the handle. Rather than designing it to be straight, I incorporated into it a slight curve, again taking the body of the woodpecker as a model. This improves the efficiency of the blow.'" (Lodato 2005)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
Lodato, F. 2008. The nature of design. Boston, MA: Design Management Institute.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:897
Specimens with Barcodes:879
Species With Barcodes:154
EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.
To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!