This book deals with an interface between mechanical engineering and biology. Available for the first time in paperback, it reviews biological structural materials and systems and their mechanically important features and demonstrates that function at any particular level of biological integration is permitted and controlled by structure at lower levels of integration.
Five chapters discuss the properties of materials in general and those of biomaterials in particular. The authors examine the design of skeletal elements and discuss animal and plant systems in terms of mechanical design. In a concluding chapter they investigate organisms in their environments and the insights gained from study of the mechanical aspects of their lives.
"One of the most useful and important books I have reviewed. The designer of a bridge needs to know the strength of his steel or concrete and he needs to know how forces are transmitted through structures. . . . A biologist studying an animal or plant structure cannot understand it fully without the same sort of knowledge."--Quarterly Review of Biology