IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Mathematical biomechanics and the "what?", "how?", and "why?" in functional morphology
Aerts, P. (1990). Mathematical biomechanics and the "what?", "how?", and "why?" in functional morphology. Neth. J. Zool. 40(1): 153-172. hdl.handle.net/10.1163/156854289X00246
In: Netherlands Journal of Zoology. E.J. Brill: Leiden. ISSN 0028-2960, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Author 

Author  Top 

Abstract
    In functional morphology, the "what", "how" and "why" about form and function of specific structures is one type of question (case-studies). When the hypothesis erected to answer these questions cannot be tested experimentally, an alternative approach can be the application of mathematical models. In order to reduce the speculative nature of this approach, the following points must be considered: (1) a detailed morphological study is required to obtain accurate structural and geometrical data; (2) framing the hypothesis should be based on the critical interpretation of the morphological data within the framework of known physical and physiological information ; (3) the mathematical reduction must rather tend to express the plausibility of the hypothesis instead of to quantify the physical phenomenon in question (i.e. model construction is determined by the selection of the right output parameters); (4) the applied physics must be relevant to the phenomenon being investigated; (5) the "theoretical environment of the model" and the input values for the environmental variables must fit reality. Two case-studies on aspects of the form and function of the head of fishes will illustrate the application of these principles.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Author