How did dinosaurs handle the pressure of gravity?
Dr. Stephen Levin, an orthopedic surgeon, was at the Natural History Museum and saw wires holding up the neck of the same type of dinosaur as on the picture above. And he was questioning in his head – how was his neck held up formerly? The reason for fascination is that it is a mechanically impossible structure – at least according to the traditional way of looking at the structure.
Why is this interesting? Levin discovered that the structural form called Tensegrity – a combination of words Tension and Integrity – is present in anatomy, and explains how dinosaurs could keep their neck up.
The picture shows The Needle Tower – a fascinating piece of work that is held together and held up because of the tension and equilibrium, tensegrity, created between the different parts.
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Firstly, Levin’s findings, which he termed as Biotensegrity, changes the way we look at how the body is structured, and what keeps it together. The skeleton is not, as previously thought, the hanger on which everything depends, for instance. The skeleton’s numb brace that keeps apart from the fascia layers and stabilizes the connective tissue structures, like Needle Tower in the picture above.
For example the body is not as static as the tower in the picture. This is because the body wires, the Fascia, are not two, five or ten in number, but many many more. Some stretched, and some are lax, and they tense and relax at every movement.
You could describe it as the skeleton floating freely in the Fascia however, If the soft tissue is crooked, as a result the skeleton will be bent. If we work to restore and maintain delicate parts, muscles, and connective tissue, we help skeleton float freely inside complex structures.
The latest discoveries in anatomy are that it is the Fascia, the extensive system without beginning or end, which makes both humans and animals capable of strong pressure from gravity.
Dr. Stephen Levin at the Fascia Research Congress, Washington DC 2015
Click the subtitle icon for a subtitled version
In depth: Longer lecture on Biotensegrity
Examples of Biotensegrity
The film shows a biomechanical representation of how leg and foot load and relieve pressure and tension.
Tom Myers continues talking about Biotensegrity – a new way of thinking than what we are used to.
A demonstration of Tensegrity. See how the “ball” bounces and what happens when ONE thread is cut off.
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