Document Detail

The economy of the shape of limbed animals.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11204396     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A simple, high-level wire-minimization model appears to drive the relationship between animal limb number and body-to-limb proportion in some animals across at least seven phyla: annelids, arthropods, cnidarians, echinoderms, molluscs, tardigrades and vertebrates. Given an animal's body-to-limb proportion, the model enables one to estimate the animal's number of limbs, and vice versa. Informally, the model states that a limbed animal's large-scale morphology is set so as to maximize its number of limbs subject to the constraint that there is not a more economical shape which reaches out to the same places. A consequence of animals conforming to the model is that their large-scale morphology is "minimally wired." Just as wire minimization is important in artificial information processing devices, it is hypothesized that one reason why animals' large-scale morphologies conform to a save-wire principle is to minimize the system-wide information processing times.
M A Changizi
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biological cybernetics     Volume:  84     ISSN:  0340-1200     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol Cybern     Publication Date:  2001 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-02-02     Completed Date:  2001-03-29     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7502533     Medline TA:  Biol Cybern     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  23-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Biotechnology Group, Schafer Corporation, Arlington, VA 22209, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Extremities / physiology*
Models, Biological*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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