Concussions: Why Woodpeckers Don’t Get Them

Microscopic scan of a woodpecker's cranial bone. Courtesy of Science Life.

Humans could learn a thing or two about preventing traumatic brain injury (TBI) from woodpeckers according to an article in Live Science. Concussions and TBI have become a common injury for combat veterans.

Researchers in Beihang University in Beijing and the Wuhan University of Technology found that a woodpeckers beak pounds into wood at the force of 1,000 that of gravity. But, a thick boned skull, strong neck muscles diffuse the force and a third eye-lid keeps the eye from popping out.

Scientists are studying the sponge-like structure of the skull bone to find to find further ways to prevent serious brain injury and concussions by designing better headgear.

Microscopic photos of the bones and beak are part of the article in Live Science:

The findings could be important for preventing brain injuries in humans. Each year, more than 1 million people in the United States alone sustain and survive a traumatic brain injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 50,000 people die of their injuries.


2 Responses

  1. Every bit of research is a good thing to prevent or treat brain injuries.

  2. […] Concussions: Why Woodpeckers Don’t Get Them ( […]

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