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Shrimp Holds the Key to New Building Composites


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Courtesy of Carlos Puma.

The Mantis Shrimp is no pushover. The marine creature is tiny and wears the colors of a circus clown, but when settling in for dinner, it uses an appendage called a Dactyl Club to pummel its way through the hard shell of its prey. At that scale, the club strikes the Mantis Shrimp’s unfortunate victim with a force equivalent to that of a .22 caliber bullet. Researchers are now studying the herringbone structure of the Dactyl Club’s armored outer layer to see if its properties can be replicated for the production of lightweight and durable composite building materials. Read more...