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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Researchers discover secret to mussels’ magical staying power

• sciencerecorder.com
 

Unlike barnacles, which cement themselves to surfaces, mussels dangle from a collection of fine filaments known as byssus threads, which allows the creatures to drift out into the water to absorb nutrients. This process would also seem to expose them to a risk of dislodgement via crashing waves, yet this almost never happens.

Despite an outwardly frail appearance, in the dynamic environment of waves and currents these threads can withstand impact forces nine times greater than forces exerted by stretching in a single direction.

Zhao Qin and Markus Buehler unraveled the secret to these natural bungee cords. Their findings appear in the journal Nature Communications this week.


1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

Isn't nature smart? In fact, people are smart in really only one way. People are smart in the way that they observe and use nature. If people had had to invent all the things that have been invented, by themselves without observing nature, people would not have advanced any farther than the animals.

How in the world did nature get so smart?


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