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Still Waters

MIT: Lobster's underbelly tough as rubber

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Still Waters

Flip a lobster on its back, and you'll see that the underside of its tail is split in segments connected by a translucent membrane that appears rather vulnerable when compared with the armor-like carapace that shields the rest of the crustacean.

But engineers at MIT and elsewhere have found that this soft membrane is surprisingly tough, with a microscopic, layered, plywood-like structure that makes it remarkably tolerant to scrapes and cuts. This deceptively tough film protects the lobster's belly as the animal scuttles across the rocky seafloor.

The lobster's tough yet stretchy membrane could serve as a design guide for more flexible body armor, particularly for highly mobile regions of the body, such as elbows and knees.

https://phys.org/news/2019-02-lobster-underbelly-tough-industrial-rubber.html

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