Understanding Evolution

Exoskeleton strength: The physics of failure

You've just seen that molting out of the exoskeleton may limit the size of terrestrial arthropods. Does the exoskeleton cause other problems for outsized arthropods? To figure out the answer, we'll see what happens to the exoskeleton and the muscles that move it when an arthropod is scaled up.

Scaling up an ant

 

View this article online at:
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/constraint_07

Understanding Evolution © 2015 by The University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, and the Regents of the University of California