What’s behind a mantis punch
The Peacock Mantis Shrimp packs a punch able to break through mollusk shells and aquarium glass without injuring itself. An new study reveals that a unique composition and structure stops cracks in their track and offers clues into designing stronger and lighter materials.
“The impact region features a highly crystallized form of the mineral hydroxyapatite, a key ingredient in human bones and teeth. Below that are more layers of hydroxyapatite, this time in an amorphous, noncrystallized form. The innermost region contains chitin, a less stiff material often found in the exoskeletons of crustaceans stacked in helices with hydroxyapatite filling in between the stacks. The differences in hardness, stiffness and orientation between the three layers allow small cracks to form but prevent them from growing or spreading, so the club stays intact.” More at sciencemag.org