The Euler Spiral of Rat Whiskers

Journal article


Starostin, E., Grant, R.A., Dougill, G., van der Heijden, G.H.M. and Goss, G. (2020). The Euler Spiral of Rat Whiskers. Science Advances. 6 (3). https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aax5145
AuthorsStarostin, E., Grant, R.A., Dougill, G., van der Heijden, G.H.M. and Goss, G.
Abstract

This paper reports on an analytical study of the intrinsic shapes of 523 whiskers from 15 rats. We show that the variety of whiskers on a rat’s cheek, each of which has different lengths and shapes, can be described by a simple mathematical
equation such that each whisker is represented as an interval on the Euler spiral. When all the representative curves of mystacial vibrissae for a single rat are assembled together, they span an interval extending from one coiled domain of the Euler Spiral to the other. We additionally find that each
whisker makes nearly the same angle of 47 with the normal to the spherical virtual surface formed by the tips of whiskers, which constitutes the rat’s tactile sensory shroud or ‘search-space’. The implications of the linear curvature
model for gaining insight into relationships between growth, form and function are discussed.

Year2020
JournalScience Advances
Journal citation6 (3)
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN2375-2548
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aax5145
Web address (URL)https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/3/eaax5145
Publication dates
Print15 Jan 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted02 Oct 2019
Deposited22 Nov 2019
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Open
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