The valves of a mussel shell are two levers that are joined together by an elastic ligament; their movements are similar to some extent to those made by a human arm at the elbow joint. The ligament is found to have a quasi-elastic property; in the operating range of valve opening, the elastic force of the ligament is proportional to the deformation. A minor mathematical model for the movements of mussel valves is formulated: valve movements performed due to contraction of adductor muscles are considered as movements of an extremely damped spring pendulum. Simulated and actual movements of mussel valves are compared. The viscosity factor during the contraction of adductor muscles is found to be an order of magnitude lower than that during relaxation. This probably results from the differences in the physiological mechanisms of muscle contraction and relaxation.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 8, 2015
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