Scientists have figured out how copepods can crush quartz solid shell algae. It turned out that this ability must crustaceans resaylinu - elastic protein that is part of their teeth.
The scientists examined the limbs of copepods under a scanning microscope. From X-ray analysis, they determined their chemical composition, and special dyes help determine what they contain proteins.
Scientists have discovered that the outer chewing limbs, that is, in fact, the teeth are double-layer structure of crustaceans. On top of their cover layer of chitin, which is rich in silica and a chitinous shell is very much resaylina.
Resaylin stands out for its unique biological materials elasticity. In its tension or compression energy loss hardly occurs - converted into heat energy, only three percent. It is thanks to resaylinu fleas are able to make such powerful jumps and store energy. This elastic protein is also found in the joints of the legs and wings of grasshoppers in insects. Scientists have even an idea to create a prosthetic intervertebral disc of the artificially produced resaylina.
From a mechanical point of view of the teeth of these crustaceans were arranged similarly to vertebrates. In higher animals, brittle, but solid teeth like crustaceans are from elastic material (gums) that protects them from damage. The main difference lies in the fact that the elasticity of arthropods gum is more perfect than vertebrates.
Scientists surprised not only by representatives of copepod crustaceans, but also crustaceans and stomatopods. They, too, were found amazing mechanical properties - it turned out that the special hammers to break serve mollusk shells have very unusual strong composite structure. In one area of the hammer chitin fiber strands are located, and the direction of the strands of the spiral turns. Such a structure provides hammers more power and strength. They can withstand tremendous loads without cracking. This discovery, scientists are interested in military armor and manufacturers.
According to the materials Sciencemagic.ru