Toads tongue may inspire improved motors in future

October 26th, 2008 - 12:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Oct 26 (ANI): A Northern Arizona University researcher is studying a cane toad from Suriname in order to understand the speed, power and energy behind its ability to capture prey with its tongue.

Her studies may shed new light on how muscles function more as springs than motors.

This new perspective may help in the development of more efficient electric motors, better prostheses and new medical treatments for neuromuscular diseases like Parkinson’’s.

The jaw muscles of toad can produce forces greater than 700 times the animal’’s weight.

“The best electric motor achieves about one-third of that force-to-weight ratio,” Live Science quoted Nishikawa, as saying.

“When a toad or chameleon captures prey with its tongue, it exerts force over a distance. Figuring out how they do it has immense application to any device that actually moves,” she added. (ANI)

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