Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Resisting shearing forces: limpets
 

Many organisms, including limpets, resist shearing loads temporarily in part thanks to Stefan adhesion, which occurs when a thin layer of viscous liquid separates two surfaces.

       
  "Stefan adhesion. This particular form of adhesion works best against shearing loads…I know of no demonstrated case in which Stefan adhesion is the exclusive mode of attachment, but one suspects its involvement when, as Crisp (1960) showed, a steady force will slowly slide barnacles (some at least) across smooth surfaces. Wigglesworth's (1987) observations of flies clinging beneath glass sheets raises a similar suspicion. He noticed that the legs slowly slide centripetally across the glass, periodically detaching and swinging outward again. But shear of two surfaces isn't the only way to load the liquid in shear--a tensile stress between two objects with fluid between will force inward flow between the surfaces, and the no-slip conditions at the liquid-solid interfaces will ensure the occurrence of shear. Thus, Stefan adhesion can play a role in resisting the initial tensile separation of two smooth and well-mated surfaces. It's of course a player in the mucus locomotion of slugs, snails, and such" (Vogel 2003:427)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

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Specimen Records: 857
Specimens with Sequences: 613
Specimens with Barcodes: 448
Species: 84
Species With Barcodes: 76
Public Records: 604
Public Species: 73
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Specimen Records: 3266
Specimens with Sequences: 3206
Specimens with Barcodes: 2609
Species: 125
Species With Barcodes: 120
Public Records: 2848
Public Species: 96
Public BINs: 103
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