Okay, people. No matter how much they’re shreddin’ it onstage, we know head banging is bad for us. But whether it’s from contact sports, car accidents, or clumsiness, head injury diagnoses seem to be on the rise (at least in the U.S.).
In addition to a killer skull shape that protects their brains, woodpeckers have beaks to beat the beat. These birds can slam their skulls into trees with an impact of about 1000g (that’s 1,000 times the force of gravity). Plus, some species hammer away for HOURS at a rate of up to 300 beats per second.
Here’s what they have going on that we need:
When it comes to cutting-edge, built-in safety measures, our heads just haven’t kept up. That’s why we say, until you expand your ribs and fix your eyeballs in place and develop a cushiony middleskull: Popping a wheelie? Pop on a helmet.
Written by Roar. Illustrated by Joshua Röpke from Austin, TX, who draws and does lettering with pens and sometimes brushes. He especially enjoys nature, DIY electronics, and succinct third-person synopses. For more birds and junk, check out: www.jropke.com
Special thanks to Jordan Lite, who knows about head banging.
Check our facts!
N. Lee et al. Hierarchical multiscale structure-property relationships of the red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpescarolinus) beak. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Published May 7, 2014. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2014.0274. http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/11/96/20140274#
S-H. Yoon and S. Park. A mechanical analysis of woodpecker drumming and its application to shock-absorbing systems.Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. Vol. 6, January 17, 2011, p. 016003. doi: 10.1088/1748-3182/6/1/016003.
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How did I miss this one?!?!? This has to be one of my favorite BHR pieces, ever! The illustrations are a fabulous blend of comedy, accuracy, classic drawing style and Andy Warhol (some how…maybe it’s the lightning bolts at the end of the woodpecker’s beak).