The limpet is a species of aquatic snail which set a new record in the science world.
According to a team of researchers from the United Kingdom, limpet teeth are made of the strongest biological material that has ever been studied.
This species of snails gets its name “limpet” from the fact that their shell does not have any coiling architecture.
All species of limpets are part of the Gastropoda family of mollusks. Their conical shapes are called patelliform, and some call it dish-shaped.
The limpet lives mostly on tidal rocks and their favorite foods are algae and sea weed, which they get when there is a high tide.
According to biologists, when the tides move out, the limpet hunkers down in small depressions carved by them in the rocks. The scientists call these depressions “home scars”.
Researchers discovered that the limpets have tiny teeth on their tongues that they use to scrape the surface of the rocks in order to dig a home and hide in.
The new findings reveal that the limpet teeth are made of a combination of protein and mineral that is incredibly strong.
This makes the limpet teeth stronger than spider silk or any materials that man has ever built.
One of the scientists involved in the study, Asa Barber, a researcher at the University of Portsmouth, explained that biology is an endless source of inspiration for an engineer. Barber adds that the limpet teeth are made of tiny fibers that are arranged in a particular way.
Scientists believe that they could follow the same design principles and build the strong material for themselves.
The teeth of the limpet measure less than one millimeter in length and are made of an iron-based mineral known as goethite. This mineral is threaded in fibers via a protein base.
Barber and his team of researchers used an atomic force microscope to measure the force needed for pulling apart the limpet’s tooth material. According to them, the tooth material is a hundred times thinner than a piece of our hair.
They discovered that the teeth material can resist up to five times the force needed to tear spider silk apart.
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