Click For Photo: https://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2018/10/181024163616_1_540x360.jpg
RIT scientist Scott Franklin collaborated with David Hu at Georgia Institute of Technology to understand how elephants apply force with their trunk to manipulate different sized objects. Hu led the study that appears in the Oct. 24 issue of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.
Elephants graze nearly non-stop and eat about 440 pounds of food per day, according to the authors. Elephant trunks, which lack bones, form kinks or joints to compress small pieces of food into an efficient bite-sized masses.
Staff - Zoo - Atlanta - Experiments - Zoo
Staff at Zoo Atlanta conducted videotaped experiments involving the zoo's popular 35-year-old female African elephant named "Kelly." Her handlers offered her rutabaga and carrot cubes of different sizes and piles of wheat bran on a force plate. The experiment measured the force the elephant applied to the piles of food and imaged the shape of her trunk when grabbing each object.
Franklin studied the video and data provided by Hu's team that suggested the elephant applied more force when attempting to pick up a pile of small particles. The behavior had a characteristic shape Franklin recognized from his earlier work applying the weakest link theory to granular materials. The chance for a weakest link increases when a pile consists of many individual particles, and the elephant stabilized the weakest link in the mound...
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