Further advance in woodpecker head science

Joe Eaton reports in the Berkeley Daily Planet:

Wild Neighbors: Woody Has the Last Laugh

A few years back I wrote about the bestowal of the Ig Nobel Prize for medicine on UC-Davis ophthalmology professor Ivan Schwab [pictured here] for his explanation of why woodpeckers don’t get headaches….

Just last month, though, two UC-Berkeley researchers, Sang-Hee Yoon and Sungmin Park, published an article… Yoon and Park built an artifical analogue of a woodpecker’s head, substituting a metal cylinder for the beak, a rubber layer for the hyoid, an aluminum layer for the cerebrospinal fluid, and tiny glass spheres for the spongy bone. Then they packed the whole shebang and some kind of electronic apparatus into a bullet, loaded it in an airgun, and fired it at an aluminum wall. They report that their system protected the embedded electronics from impacts up to 60,000 g….

BONUS: How Julian Vincent and colleagues, after studying woodpecker heads, built a better hammer.