Mentis Shrimp has the Ocean Fastest Punch. Now we know how their claws survive


Mantis shrimp is a terrible enemy. When they are neither shrimp nor mantis, this marine crustacean, which is only 10 cm (4 in) long, has incredible eyes that can see cancer, and a clublike hand that is the fastest in the ocean. Can throw holes.

We’re talking 23 meters per second, and building 1,500 newton tons of force per punch.

“Think about punching a wall two thousand times at those speeds and not breaking your fist,” said University of California scientist David Kiskus.

“It’s very impressive, and it got us thinking how it could happen.”

Upon closer examination, the team found something surprising – the Mentis Shrimp has an impact-resistant nanoparticle coating, which allows it to punch with reckless abandon, while the coating absorbs and dissipates energy. works hard.

If you missed the hype about these small punching machines, some species of mantis shrimp have the ability to use their claws like a spring-loaded hammer.

In a second division, these ‘smashers’ (yes, that’s the technical term) on their hard-bodied prey, such as to kill snails and crabs, to open hard mollusk shells as if they were eggs.

It is well known. Past research has looked at ways for the club to be effective, and some studies have also used the Mentis shrimp to inspire entirely new material.

“These studies have shown that a helicoidal arrangement of mineral-containing alpha-chitin fibers combined with a herringbone architecture, resulting in a mineral gradient, can distract and bend the spread of the crack,” the team said in a new paper She tells.

“Although the above studies provide insight into the mechanisms of hardening in the club, many high-strain-rate effects, similar to those encountered in the native environment of mantis shrimp, are still not known.”

The team used transmission electron and atomic force microscopy to observe exceptionally close-ups on the surface of peacock mantis prawns (Odontodactylus skilrus) Club, and found that the coating is made up of a dense matrix of minerals called Hydroxyapatite formed in a nanocrystal structure.

When the club is struck against a surface, the hydroxyapatite itself rotates, but the nanocrystal structure fractures and then reforms.

“At very low stresses, the particles deteriorate like a marshmallow and recover when they are relieved by stress,” says Kinlas, while at high stress, “the particles harden and fracture at the nanocrystalline interface. When you couple Break, you’re done. ” Opening up new surfaces that destroy significant amounts of energy. ”

This mechanism is actually quite impressive, kills many engineered materials in hardness and damping, and may have some incredible applications in the future.

“This is a rare combination that outperforms most metals and technical ceramics,” Kissellas said.

“We can envision ways to engineer similar particles to add enhanced protective surfaces for use in automobiles, aircraft, football helmets and body sensors.”

The research has been published in Nature material.

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