Bone Structure Designed to Sprint

May 11, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

Did you notice the winning horse’s shin bone, or metacarpal the last time you watched a horse race? 

This tiny shin bone is located just below his front knee, supporting the horse’s whole weight, even when galloping. Think about the enormous load this bone, the size of our wrist bone experiences as a horse thunders along. How does it do this without breaking? Even more amazing is that this tiny bone has a hole, called the foramen passing right through it.

Similar holes in man made structures are a frequent source of weakness. But to the surprise of scientists, this is not a problem for the horse. Upon close examination, scientists have found that bone tissue surrounding the hole is arranged in a way that directs stresses away from the hole toward stronger regions of the leg bone. Also, the hole is elliptical with the ellipse’s long axis parallel to the length of the bone. If a race horse fractures his metacarpal, they have found that the fracture is seldom at the opening. The horse’s leg bone design is such that the foramen is actually a source of strength. This discovery may solve some age old engineering problems, such as how best to put holes in material such as portholes in ships.

The horse’s shin bone with the small hole shows exquisite design. Evolution did not make this foramen, for when we look at the wide variety of horses in the fossil record, the foramen opening is always present. From the beginning, God designed the horse with a foramen.

(Source: Inspired Evidence – Don De Young, A Hole in the Design Argument. Answers Magazine June 2010)

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