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Piezoelectric Activity in Invertebrate Exoskeletons


PIEZOELECTRIC effects have been demonstrated in several biological structural materials, such as wood and bone1–3, and in various organic polymers4. Additionally, piezoelectric activity has been detected in the otoliths of some species of bony fishes5, where it is believed to be involved in sensory perception. On the basis of these findings it seemed worthwhile to assay the integuments of various invertebrates for piezoelectric activity, for they are related in structure, function, or composition to the materials listed above. Accordingly, a number of mollusc shells and carapaces of several arthropods were tested for evidence of piezoelectric properties.

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    Shamos, M. H., and Lavine, L. S., Nature, 213, 267 (1967).

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    Bazhenov, V. A., Piezoelectric Properties of Wood (Consultants Bureau, New York, 1961).

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    Edelman, S., Grisham, L. R., Roth, S. C., and Cohen, J., J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 48, 1040 (1970).

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    Zilberstein, R. M., Proc. IEEE, 57, 1763 (1969).

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