ScienceDaily: Biologist And Physicist Team Up To Study Alligator's 'Death Roll'
Other than on television, few of us have ever seen the spectacular spin (and ghastly consequences) of the crocodilian “death roll.” But, in a basement laboratory in the University’s Schmucker’s Science building, a biologist and physicist have been video taping young alligators spinning with the ferocity of their older, larger cousins in the wild.
In a paper entitled, "Death roll of the alligator: mechanics of twist feeding in water," to be published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, West Chester University biologist Frank Fish and physicist Anthony Nicastro and colleagues Sandra Bostic and John Beneski chronicled the particular spinning movement of juvenile alligators in water after biting into a pliable target. (Credit: Image courtesy of West Chester University Of Pennsylvania)
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In doing so, the researchers created a mathematical model that provides the first explanation as to how these long thin reptiles are able to spin with such force in the water.
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