Horse Bones are Lightweight but Sturdy


From long ago, horses have had an intimate relationship with humans. They have carried people or loads, and pulled plows for farming. Let us take a look at the structure of the horse’s leg. The thin, long part that resembles a human shin is composed of a single thick bone called the third metacarpal. It supports the horse’s entire weight when it is on its forefeet. A cross-section of the bone reveals is a hole in the center to let the blood vessels pass through, and many small holes surrounding this. Normally, when pressure is applied to a solid that has a hole in it, the force is concentrated around the hole and causes damage. Yet in the case of the horse, even when a large amount of force is placed on the third metacarpal bone, it does not break easily. Why is this? The secret is in the many small holes. They act to disperse the force that is concentrated around the edge of the large hole out toward the firmer surrounding area. The numerous holes prevent cracks from forming inside the bone and keep small cracks from growing. The small holes are clustered in the direction the horse moves to dispel the great force placed on the legs when the horse moves forward. Moreover, the holes make the bone lighter. Thus, the horse has some amazing bones that are both strong and light.

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Efficiency(Energy Saving, Resource Saving, Light):
Weight-savingHigh intensity

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Horses’ bone structure can be used to lighten and strengthen planes, cars, or boats that need to allow wires or fuel/hydraulic pipes to pass through. While maintaining strength, holes in the airframe’s structure will reduce weight for significant fuel reduction. These ideas can also be used to develop lightweight materials that retain their structural integrity for building frames or walls in earthquake-prone Japan.

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