Posted Friday, June 8, 2012, at 5:19 PM
You won't be calling a guy a shrimp when he's wearing super strong mantis armor.
Using electron microscopes, engineers have been studying how the mantis shrimp's strong hammer-like claws work at the molecular level, and have found that unlike many man-made materials, they are both stiff and tough.
The claws, which are used to smash mollusks and crabs, deliver blow after blow with the acceleration of a 0.22-caliber bullet without breaking or cracking. Scientists think that these thumb-splitters, as fishermen call them, might be able to help lead to super lightweight body armor and other biology-mimicking materials.
Humans trying to learn about armor and weaponry from powerful crustaceans? We’ve heard this somewhere before …
Video by Krishnan Vasuvedan.