Thursday, June 7, 2012

The shrimp with an attitude

Rightardia has a a salt water aquarium in the office and has heard about this crustacean. Aquarium shops are wary of them because they can break the glass in an aquarium.

The mantis shrimp is also known as the "thumb splitter" shrimps' because of damage it has done to the hands of scuba divers.

Scientists believe that the claw may provide insights to new armor.

The striking surface, is dominated by a mineral called hydroxyapatite. This is a calcium-containing substance that gives human bones their hardness. The mineral is arranged to form pillars perpendicular to the striking surface. This is similar to a concrete pylon holding up a bridge.

Another region backs up the impact zone with chitosan, a carbohydrate molecule that forms long chains of chitin, the substance in crustacean shells.

The chitosan in a peacock mantis' claw is just beneath the impact zone, is stacked at different orientations, in which every section has been angled slightly askew.

That makes it tough to crack because every crack that does form, it has to change directions for the break to continue through the claw.

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