Woodpeckers drive their beaks into hardwood and bark at 20-30 strikes per second to expose beetles and grubs or hollow out a nest cavity. High-speed filming has clocked the woodpecker beak forward trajectory at 6–7.5 m/s resulting in a deceleration gravitational force on impact of 600 to 1500 g. A negative 80–160 g force experienced in sports or car accidents is sure to produce brain concussions in humans. How do woodpeckers avoid brain injury?
Read more.Woodpecker article
Electron microscope image of spongy bone skull section from two different woodpecker species.
from – Sang-Hee Yoon and Sungmin Park 2011 Bioinspir. Biomim. 6 016003
Tolerable deceleration rates of woodpeckers compared to humans.
from L.J. Gibson – Journal of Zoology 270 (2006) 462–465
Piliated woodpecker working on a tree
Hairy woodpecker activity
Downy woodpecker foraging
Red-bellied woodpecker nest building
How Woodpeckers Avoid Brain Concussion
by L.J. Gibson
A mechanical analysis of woodpecker drumming and its application to shock-absorbing systems
by Sang-Hee Yoon and Sungmin Park