Papers, theses & manuscripts

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25. How tendons buffer energy dissipation by muscle

24. Bite force is limited by the force–length relationship of skeletal muscle in black carp, Mylopharyngodon piceus

23. Are kissing gourami specialized for substrate-feeding?

22. Regional variation in length change of the infant pig geniohyoid muscle during suckling

21. Elastic modulus varies among tendons of the hindlimb muscles in wild turkeys

20. Muscle power attenuation by tendon during energy dissipation

19. Evolution of muscle activity patterns driving motions of the jaw and hyoid during chewing in gnathostomes

18. The concept of hyoid posture

17. Hyoid muscle activity during head movements in mammals

16. Functional Disparity and Ecological Diversification in Marine Angelfishes, f. Pomacanthidae

15. Prey processing in the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens)

14. Regional differences in length-change and electromyographic heterogeneity in the sternohyoid muscle during infant mammalian swallowing

13. Rhythmicity in teleost chewing: a comparison with amniotes

12.Functional morphology of butterflyfishes

11. Evolutionary history of the butterflyfishes (f. Chaetodontidae) and the rise of coral feeding fishes

10. The intramandibular joint in Girella: a mechanism for increased force-production?

09. Functional morphology and biomechanics of the tongue-bite apparatus in salmonid and osteoglossomorph fishes

08. Biomechanics of a convergently derived prey-processing mechanism in fishes: evidence from morphology and raking kinematics

07. Congruent modulation-patterns in muscle activity and kinematics govern a convergently derived teleosts prey-processing behaviour

06. Symposium introduction: electromyography interpretation and limitations in functional analyses of musculoskeletal function.

05. Is a convergently derived muscle-activity pattern driving novel raking behaviours in teleost fishes?

04. Evolution of novel jaw joints promote trophic diversity in coral reef fishes

03. Adult Emperor angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) clean Giant Sunfishes (Mola mola) at Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

02. Prey-capture in Pomacanthus semicirculatus (Teleostei, Pomacanthidae): functional implications of intramandibular joints in marine angelfishes

01. Evolution and biogeography of marine angelfishes (Pisces: Pomacanthidae)


Proceedings of the Royal Society, series B - Published online before print September 28, 2011, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1435

Reprint: [pdf]

Coauthor details:

Thomas J. Roberts, Brown University

Manny Azizi, U. California at Irvine


Muscles are not only the motors that power movement, but also function as brakes for activities like deceleration or landing from a jump.  To function as brakes, muscles have to be actively stretched, which leaves them susceptible to damage. In this study, we discovered that the tendons connecting muscles to bones play an essential role during activities involving deceleration.  During landing, tendons act as springs by temporarily storing the energy of impact. This energy is then released more slowly to stretch the muscle. Therefore, the spring-like action of tendons likely protects the muscles from damage when they function as brakes. Moreover, the delayed and slowed transfer of energy from tendons to muscles likely limits the peak forces generated, which may protect not only the muscle fascicles themselves, but also surrounding connective tissues and bones from damage.

Cites: GoogleScholar citations of this paper.

NCBI Matrix: related citations (mine and others).

Press:Scientific American, Physorg, Science ORF (Austria), R&Dmag, ABC (Spain), Medill Reports, Brown Press Office

Figure. A safer landing for muscles. During landing from a jump, tendons absorb the initial energy by stretching like coiled springs. Muscles, which prepare in advance for impact, also absorb energy by stretching, but only after the tendons have blunted the shock.

tendon shock absorber