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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
Until recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) kept its plans for its $70 million portion of the...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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ScienceShot: Mantis Shrimp Armor Can Take a Beating
1 October 2010 12:15 am
Mantis shrimp didn't evolve armor just to protect themselves from predators. Some of their biggest enemies are fellow shrimp eager to oust them from their burrows. During these attacks, the aggressor uses its hammerlike claw to whack the hard tail plate of the defender with a force thousands of times its own body weight. Good body armor has two options in these situations: rebound the energy onto the attacker, like a trampoline, or dissipate it, like a punching bag. To figure out which strategy the crustaceans adopt, researchers dropped a small steel ball onto the bodies of 17 dead mantis shrimp. When steel met skeleton, almost 70% of the energy was lost—making the punching bag model the winner, the researchers report today in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Things could be different in the water, where the shrimp attack up to 50% faster. But since the shrimp's claws are also smaller than the steel balls used in the experiment, the researchers figure the energy exchange is probably about the same.
See more ScienceShots.