Mechanics of the right whale mandible : full scale testing and finite element analysis
DeCew, Judson C.
Baldwin, Kenneth C.
Moore, Michael J.
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In an effort to better understand the mechanics of ship-whale collision and to reduce the associated mortality of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, a comprehensive biomechanical study has been conducted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of New Hampshire. The goal of the study is to develop a numerical modeling tool to predict the forces and stresses during impact and thereby the resulting mortality risk to whales from ship strikes. Based on post-mortem examinations, jaw fracture was chosen as a fatal endpoint for the whales hit by a vessel. In this paper we investigate the overall mechanical behavior of a right whale mandible under transverse loading and develop a finite element analysis model of the bone. The equivalent elastic modulus of the cortical component of right whale mandible is found by comparing full-scale bending tests with the results of numerical modeling. The finite element model of the mandible can be used in conjunction with a vessel-whale collision event model to predict bone fracture for various ship strike scenarios.
Author Posting. © Elsevier B.V., 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 374 (2009): 93-103, doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2009.03.012.
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