Thomas L. Daniel

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During flight, many insect wings undergo dramatic deformations that are controlled largely by the architecture of the wing. The pattern of supporting veins in wings varies widely among insect orders and families, but the functional significance of phylogenetic trends in wing venation remains unknown, and measurements of the mechanical properties of wings(More)
During flapping flight, insect wings must withstand not only fluid-dynamic forces, but also inertial-elastic forces generated by the rapid acceleration and deceleration of their own mass. Estimates of overall aerodynamic and inertial forces vary widely, and the relative importance of these forces in determining passive wing deformations remains unknown. If(More)
The dynamic, three-dimensional shape of flapping insect wings may influence many aspects of flight performance. Insect wing deformations during flight are largely passive, and are controlled primarily by the architecture and material properties of the wing. Although many details of wing structure are well understood, the distribution of flexural stiffness(More)
Flying insects have evolved sophisticated sensory capabilities to achieve rapid course control during aerial maneuvers. Among two-winged insects such as houseflies and their relatives, the hind wings are modified into club-shaped, mechanosensory halteres, which detect Coriolis forces and thereby mediate flight stability during maneuvers. Here, we show that(More)
Both kinematics and morphology are critical determinants of performance in flapping flight. However, the functional consequences of changes in these traits are not yet well understood. Traditional aerodynamic studies of planform wing shape have suggested that high-aspect-ratio wings generate more force per area and perform more efficiently than(More)
The inverse problem of hovering flight, that is, the range of wing movements appropriate for sustained flight at a fixed position and orientation, was examined by developing a simulation of the hawkmoth Manduca sexta. Inverse problems arise when one is seeking the parameters that are required to achieve a specified model outcome. In contrast, forward(More)
In muscle, force emerges from myosin binding with actin (forming a cross-bridge). This actomyosin binding depends upon myofilament geometry, kinetics of thin-filament Ca(2+) activation, and kinetics of cross-bridge cycling. Binding occurs within a compliant network of protein filaments where there is mechanical coupling between myosins along the(More)
Neuromechanics seeks to understand how muscles, sense organs, motor pattern generators, and brain interact to produce coordinated movement, not only in complex terrain but also when confronted with unexpected perturbations. Applications of neuromechanics include ameliorating human health problems (including prosthesis design and restoration of movement(More)
To explore the mechanical determinants of feeding strategies for nectar feeders, we develop a fluid dynamical and behavioral model describing the mechanics and energetics of capillary feeding in hummingbirds. Behavioral and morphological data for Calypte and Archilochus are used to test and illustrate this model. We emphasize the important differences(More)