The mantis shrimp is already famous for his super bullet punch. In addition to this, scientists have recently discovered that this tiny marine animal can help in many ways the development of technology.
Even if scientists at Purdue University, Riverside, University of California and others studied the club structure of the mantis shrimp, the latest study is about the unique herringbone structure in the outer layer of the shrimp’s punching club.
The mantis shrimp is not more than six inches long, but it is still popular for its extraordinary strength. The dactyl club is the weapon of the shrimp shaped like a hammer which can deliver such strong blows able to shatter aquarium glass.
Engineers and scientists have been trying to learn as much as possible about this little shrimp to improve our technology. Thus, a study of the internal structure of the dactyl club was published in 2012. Later in 2014, more findings were published regarding the applicability of the club’s structure to the material design.
According to David Kisailus, UC Riverside professor, and co-author, these findings can help manufacturers to develop better armor, sports equipment, cars, and planes. The shrimp can launch a 22 caliber bullet, which is one of the most powerful and fastest impacting mechanism every seen in nature.
The club consists of a few parts, each of them contributing to its unique power. The interior of the club is known as the periodic region, which has the function of absorbing the shock and has two parts. First is the organic inner region and the other is the outer region, more mineralized than the inner one.
The inner region is made of chitin, the same material as the shell of insects, and has the shape of a spiral staircase. The other section is made of calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate. Both of these sections are responsible for dispersing the shock of impact.
However, the most important part of the mantis shrimp features is its unique herringbone structure. According to Dr. Pablo Zavattieri, Purdue University professor and co-author, the material of the club is based on a sinusoidal shape which makes the shrimp unique because no other living creature has this shape.
All in all, it is paradoxical how a tiny creature, such as the mantis shrimp can be so useful to humanity.