Sunday, 22 February 2015

blast me barnacles

Possibly surpassing spiders’ silk for its tensile strength, biologists may have discovered a new candidate for a new class of more efficient and durable housings and casings in the humble but unmoveable but not immoblie limpet.

This sea-snail has evolved a rasping, conveyor-belt type of tongue called a radula in order to graze on the rough surfaces of inter-tidal rocks, plus to keep it in place whilst being bashed by waves or pried at by predators. Researchers found out that what’s preventing the snail’s drill-bit “teeth” from being ground away is that the creature’s chemistry incorporates nanoscopic fibres of a mineral called goethite, named after that Goethe, who was also an attested rock-hound, having assembled the largest collection in Europe. Such refinement was unexpected and is inspiring.