Andy Smith, Biology, and Colleague gets Published


Contributed by Nancy Pierce

Andy Smith published a paper with a colleague at Franklin and Marshall College in the Journal of Experimental Biology. The paper is titled, “Suction adhesion in the gliding joint of a cephalopod”.

The joint between the head and body of squid is held in place using suction adhesion. The low pressure holds the two parts of the joint together so that they can’t be disarticulated easily, but allows them to slide relative to each other, so the head can move forward and back relative to the body. If necessary, a further decrease in pressure can temporarily lock the joint in place. This is the first description of a joint that only uses low pressure to hold the articulating surfaces together.