Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: A study of the effects of variable apex position on stress in limpet shells
Student Author(s): Kottra, Jennifer Jean
Pages: 79
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1988
Keywords: biological studies on gastropods
Abstract: A series of computerized limpet models were generated and their stresses analyzed using finite element analysis to determine how a variety of shell morphologies would effects stress distributions and magnitudes in limpet shells. Various morphologies can affect stress distribution and magnitude. Large height to diameter ratios, lowered apices, and apices positioned in the anterior third of the shell were all determined to be particularly advantageous morphologies in reducing overall stresses on the shell (in terms of percent of breaking stress). In addition, shells with increased thicknesses at the apex and below the muscle scar were shown to reduce stress concentrations in these areas. These findings support data collected by David Lindberg (1981) who showed that of the 20 California limpet speices the marjority have medium to medium-high profiles with apices in the anterior one-third of the shell.