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Stresses in Leg Tendons of Birds

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

In several species of birds, leg tendons were dissected and the stresses which could be applied by muscles in life, in isometric conditions, were calculated by means of several anatomical parameters. Ultimate tensile stresses were measured with an Instron testing machine. Using both of these stresses, the safety factors of some tendons were calculated. These safety factors agree with the few values previously published on bird tendons, but are lower than the values known for mammalian tendons. Considering the relationship between the cross-sectional area of the muscle and the cross-sectional area of the tendon, bird tendons are relatively thinner than those of mammals. Finally, the possibility that the bird tendons studied work as springs and the supposed evidence of a different mechanical behaviour of some tendons, because of particular adaptative reasons, are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Experimental Animal Morphology and Cell Biology, Agricultural University, Marijkeweg 40, 6709 PG Wageningen, The Netherlands; 2: Department of Animal Biology (Verte-brates), University of Barcelona, Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain; 3: Department of Science of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, Polytechnical University of Catalonia, Diagonal 647, 08028 Barcelona, Spain


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