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News From the Field

Using engineering plus evolutionary analyses to answer natural selection questions

January 24, 2014

a nectarivorous bat feeding on flowers University of Massachusetts Amherst's evolutionary biologist Elizabeth Dumont and colleagues built an engineering model of a bat skull that can morph into the shape of any species, and used it to create skulls with all possible combinations of snout length and width. Then they ran engineering analyses on all the models to assess their structural strength and mechanical advantage, a measure of how efficiently and how hard bats can bite. Full Story

University of Massachusetts Amherst

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