Home » Biomimicry, Intelligent Design, News » Shrimp’s clublike arm is “holy grail for materials engineers”

Shrimp’s clublike arm is “holy grail for materials engineers”

Mantis shrimp/Carlos Puma

From “Armored Caterpillar Could Inspire New Body Armor” (ScienceDaily, June 7, 2012), we learn,

Military body armor and vehicle and aircraft frames could be transformed by incorporating the unique structure of the club-like arm of a crustacean that looks like an armored caterpillar, according to findings by a team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering and elsewhere published online June 7, in the journal Science.

The bright orange fist-like club of the mantis shrimp, or stomatopod, a 4-inch long crustacean found in tropical waters, accelerates underwater faster than a 22-caliber bullet. Repeated blows can destroy mollusk shells and crab exoskeletons, both of which have been studied for decades for their impact-resistant qualities.

The power of the mantis shrimp is exciting, but David Kisailus, an assistant professor at the Bourns College of Engineering, and his collaborators, were interested in what enabled the club to withstand 50,000 high-velocity strikes on prey during its lifespan. Essentially, how does something withstand 50,000 bullet impacts?

They found that the club is a highly complex structure, composed of three specialized regions that work together to create a structure tougher than many engineered ceramics.

“This club is stiff, yet it’s light-weight and tough, making it incredibly impact tolerant and interestingly, shock resistant,” Kisailus said. “That’s the holy grail for materials engineers.”

When they start using words like “incredibly” and “holy grail …”

Darwinism not only doesn’t need evidence, as John Lennox points out, but it can withstand any amount of contrary evidence just by closing ranks and repeating the mantra “Natural selection did it!”

See also: Proteins have slip knots, like a shoelace bow?

Woodpecker Drumming Inspires Shock-Absorbing System

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