Cat's Tail Lab Report

Decent Essays
This study was done by Walker et al to find out what the role of a cat’s tail regarding its balance. The Scientist used four different adult cats. All of the cats walked a runway and two of the cat jumped up and down from a table. To better see how the tails reacted, the scientist shaved all of the cat’s tails every week. The scientist had the cats walk the bride and would randomly move the runway left and right after the cat passed the half way point. The scientist chose random trails to move the runway because they did want the cats to find a pattern and adjust their balance. The scientist measured how long it took the cats to go the full distance and from the recordings, they measured how much the tail bent in response to the movement of…show more content…
When a cat is put off balance, it moves its tail in the opposite direction of the force that threw it off balance. Since Walker et al showed that cats use their tails for balance when their paws are busy, McCarty researched the force of landings. McCarthy performed this experiment because if they could figure out how a cat is able to land from a fall with little to no injury, that it could be applied to other places like robotics.
This Study done by McCarthy was to find out the force of an impact on a cat when landing on its feet. The formula that McCarthy used was the force (F) equals the mass (m) multiplied by the change in velocity (∆ v/t) which gives you F = m ∆(v/t ). The cat in the experiment weight about 5.37 kg, which would be used as the mass of the cat. McCarthy used a Vernier Force Plate with a plank of wood on top so they could measure force and tension of the cat landing on it. The cat was held in the same place and was dropped from five different heights, each height was tested three times. McCarthy also tested a 3.32 kg medicine ball to test an inanimate object against the cat (McCarthy
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The medicine ball was also dropped from the same height as the cat to test if the cat will reduce its force of impact. After all the testing was done it was very clear that force on the on cat, which was about 2 kg less, was a lot less then the medicine ball. As shown in Figure 3 the cat and the medicine ball’s maximum force increased as the height increased, but the medicine ball increased linearly, while the cat’s line was more curved. Since the cat’s graph is curved and a lot lower than the medicine ball, the cat manipulates its body to lessen the forces that it experiences in a fall (McCarthy
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