The Mantis Shrimp claw hammer design to be used in mechanics

The herringbone structure enables the Mantis shrimp to deliver a punch similar to a 22-caliber bullet.

Alex Bourque | Jun 02, 2016

The Mantis shrimp is a beautiful sea creature that would not be found in aquariums due to its ability to shatter glass. Suffice its small size, and the crustacean packs a massive punch, able to kill much bigger creatures. But in theory, an animal measuring less than 20 centimeters should not be able to shatter glass or kill even small animals in the sea with just a punch.

However, the mantis shrimp is an apex predator to this respect. Its blow can be seen sending water repels and heard for quite a distance underwater. Scientists are now looking at how this majestic sea creature can achieve such vicious blows.

Head researcher Professor David Kisailus has attributed this ability to a calcium based structure called herringbone structure. It is made from calcium and phosphorus that has crystallized forming a light yet extremely hard structure. This component is also found in the human bone though in lower concentrations. The herringbone structure enables the Mantis shrimp to deliver a punch similar to a 22 caliber bullet.

"This unique herringbone structure not only protects the club from failure," said Professor David Kisailus. But also enables the mantis shrimp to inflict incredible damage to its prey by transferring more momentum upon impact."

The researcher, implemented his data to a 3D projection to see how exactly they can use the information in mechanics. He believes that the first and most straightforward implementation would be construction helmets. The technology would enable the protective gear to be stronger and lighter, making the workers safer and more comfortable.

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