Biomechanism of impact resistance in the woodpecker's head and its application

Li Zhen Wang, Shan Lu, Xiao Yu Liu, Xu Feng Niu, Chao Wang, Yi Kun Ni, Mei Ya Zhao, Cheng Long Feng, Ming Zhang, Yu Bo Fan

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The woodpecker does not suffer head/eye impact injuries while drumming on a tree trunk with high acceleration (more than 1000×g) and high frequency. The mechanism that protects the woodpecker's head has aroused the interest of ornithologists, biologists and scientists in the areas of mechanical engineering, material science and electronics engineering. This article reviews the literature on the biomechanisms and materials responsible for protecting the woodpecker from head impact injury and their applications in engineering and human protection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-719
Number of pages5
JournalScience China Life Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • application
  • biomechanics
  • head injury
  • review
  • woodpecker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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