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BIOL 426 Comparative Biomechanics

Biomechanics is the study of the physical aspects of life, the materials and structures made and used by living things of all kinds, plants, animals, fungi, protista and bacteria. Biomechanics unites the fields of physics, physiology, ecology and engineering in the investigation of biological materials and structures and the structural and functional roles that they play for the organisms that produce them. This includes chitin, cellulose, spider silk, feathers, tooth enamel, wood, bone, arteries, tree branches, porcupine quills and many more. This course is an upper division elective in the Biology major and meets the 400-level capstone course requirement of the major.


Special information

First day attendance is mandatory.
Note: Enrollment limited to Biology, Environmental Science and Life Science Teaching majors only, except by instructor permission.
3 Undergraduate credits

Effective January 1, 2018 to present

Learning outcomes


  • Apply core theories and current research in comparative biomechanics
  • Apply mechanical theory, including concepts of forces, moments, stress, strain, and strength to problems involving biological materials and structures
  • Demonstrate skill with quantitative problem-solving and an ability to apply that skill to cases in biomechanics.
  • Be able to read and understand primary scientific literature in this field, and be able to present and explain the results of scientific research in this field as described in the primary literature;