I have a student interested in measuring force output in owl feet. She's
hoping to quantify both toe pad (crushing) and claw (puncturing) force in
different species of owls.

Does anyone have any suggestions for tackling such a complex system? Are
there transducers for measuring human grip force? If so, how do they
operate? We've been tossing around ideas about pressure sensitive films
wrapped around rods of different diameter for them to perch on. Would
these be quantifiable? Are there materials that can be penetrated with a
sharp point that will measure force at the claw tip? Would the
deformation of a clay-like material accurately show force and where it
was applied? This is all assuming that we can convince live owls to
really grab our transducer.

We're open to almost any idea that's out there. I'll post replies.


Steve Gatesy
Dept. of Biology
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109